Last night, Richard McTear was sentenced to life in prison for tossing a 3 month old infant out of the car window on a major Tampa highway back in 2009. The child died instantly.
Late last week, the jury deliberated for 7 hours before finding McTear guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping, battery, and aggravated child abuse charges.
On Monday, jurors then recommended that Hillsborough Circuit Judge William Fuente not use the death penalty on McTear. Fuentes agreed. Instead, the judge sentenced McTear to spend the rest of his life in prison. He also handed down a second life sentence for the charge of burglary with assault and a 30 year sentencing for kidnapping.
Or the past few years, the high profile case has captivated the nation’s attention, and the long awaited sentencing was met with tears of joy from the infant’s mother, Jasmine Bedwell.
Amidst a storm of tears, Bedwell said after the sentencing, “I waited and I waited for this day. I’m just happy I have justice for my son.”
The trial was especially grueling for the mother, as well as other members of the family. On the witness stand, they were made to recount the events, weeping the entire time.
According to the recounted events, the 26 year old McTear was enraged by ex-girlfriend Jasmine Bedwell, 22, when she returned home with her son from a friend’s house.
As the incident elevated and McTear began to attack her, Bedwell attempted to leave. McTear, however, blocked the door and then grabbed her son, Emmanuel Wesley Murray. He then ran to his car and took off down Interstate 275 in Tampa, where he then threw the baby out of the window.
Throughout the trial, McTear showed no emotion as witnesses wept in front of him and as evidence was shown to the jury that showed the baby’s blood stains on McTear’s shorts and in the car that he drove.
McTear’s lawyers, in an attempt to fight the charges, argued that McTear had a laundry list of “42 mitigating circumstances” that needed to be taken into account.
Some of these included a history of physical abuse, including an incident in which his mother had stuck a knife into his neck and back after he refused to sell drugs to her. Also, adding to the nefarious circus of events was a story of McTear being forced to watch reels of pornography as a child in order to keep him busy.
But the prosecution pointed out that there were other alternatives for McTear. He did have the opportunity time and again to live with his maternal grandparents who were good, churchgoing people. He, however, declined the offers, opting to stay in his drug ridden world.
“I’m certainly not going to stand up here and argue to you that Richard McTear didn’t have a lousy childhood. He did,” said Assistant State Attorney Ron Gale. “But part of the reason for the life that he led was because of the choices he made.”