An Indiana man has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for beating a toddler to death because she wet the bed, WXIN (Indianapolis) is reporting.
Shane Weedling, 24, pleaded guilty in September to beating 2-year-old Serenity Wilson to death at a Ft. Wayne motel in 2015. Police say Weedling was enraged at the young girl because she wet the bed.
— WSBT (@WSBT) September 15, 2016
On Thursday, a Marshall County Judge sentenced Weedling to the maximum possible sentence of 65 years in prison. As part of the plea deal, charges of neglect and marijuana possession were dropped. Weedling will be 89-years-old before he is eligible for parole.
As WNDU (South Bend) reported in December 2015, police said that Serenity, Weedling, and Serenity’s mother, Krysti LaVanway, were living at the Economy Inn in Ft. Wayne when Serenity was killed. LaVanway returned home from work at about 11:30 a.m. There, police say, she found a bruised and bloodied and unconscious Serenity lying in her bed.
— Sara Rivest ABC 57 (@SaraRivestABC57) September 21, 2015
WNDU reported in September that Weedling had sent private messages to LaVanway on Facebook, saying that he would beat Serenity again if LaVanway didn’t come home.
LaVanway would tell police that she didn’t notice any bruises on the girl at the time. Her statement would later be challenged by a pathologist who later examined Serenity. The pathologist said that it took him an hour and a half just to take an inventory of all of the bruises Serenity suffered.
Despite having arrived home at 11:30 a.m., it wasn’t until around 2:21 p.m., nearly three hours later, that LaVanway took Serenity to a hospital. She died the next day.
Serenity’s father, Cody Wilson, described his daughter as “perfect.”
“She was amazing, she was absolutely beautiful, she had so much love to give and she was she was just that perfect little girl.”
LaVanway, whom authorities would later say was more interested in protecting her boyfriend from legal trouble than in saving her daughter’s life. She would later be sentenced to 35 years in prison for neglect of a dependent resulting in death for waiting three hours to take her dying daughter to a hospital. Prosecutors had also charged her with murder, but that charge was later dropped.
LaVanway, under questioning, denied that there was any abuse going on between Serenity and Weedling. “They seemed happy, always happy,” she told investigators.
LaVanway’s sister, Kelsie McCord-Benedict, said that Krysti – who is currently in prison and is appealing her sentence – will live with remorse for her actions for the rest of her life.
“I don’t think she’ll survive it. I don’t think she deserves it. I think she’s torturing herself enough as it is. Her lying is horrible and I don’t condone it and I don’t support her in that, but I get letters from her every day and her talking about how she misses Serenity, I go and see her and she cries about how she misses Serenity so I feel the time that she was given 35 years is too much.”
Debra Blacklaw, Serenity’s grandmother, said that neither Krysti nor Shane got what they deserved for Serenity’s death.
“They got off easy. Plain and simple, they got off easy… It’s just she was only two years old. You know she was barely talking.”
It’s a sentiment that Amber Morales, Serenity’s aunt, echoes.
“He shoulda got longer, Krysti too. But whatever comes out of this I just hope that they both know that we’re never gonna forgive them for what they’ve done.”
[Featured Image by kasha_malasha/Shutterstock]