Father Sentenced to 13 Years for 9-Month-Old Girl's Death - NBC4 Washington

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Father Sentenced to 13 Years for 9-Month-Old Girl's Death

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    Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports on the 13-year jail sentence for a father in the death of his 9-month-old daughter.

    (Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017)

    A Leesburg, Virginia, man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the death of his 9-month-old daughter.

    On Oct. 2, 2014, Diamanté Travon Ellis' daughter, Devyn Ellis, was flown to Children's National Medical Center, where doctors found she had injuries "consistent with blunt force trauma," court documents stated. She suffered "multiple broken ribs, some which appeared to be old injuries that were healing," police said.

    She died three days later. 

    A detective wrote that the baby's family "could not provide a valid explanation for why the injuries had occurred."

    Her father told police he was feeding Devyn when she went limp. Under interrogation, he told investigators he dropped the girl on the bathroom floor, but prosecutors said that wouldn't explain the injuries.

    "The number of different injuries -- the retinal hemorrhaging, the subarachnoid hemorrhage, the broken legs, the broken ribs -- could not have all happened from a simple drop," Loudoun County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Eric Shamis said.

    Diamanté Ellis' sister said he tried to resuscitate the baby, drove her to get medical help and flew with her in the helicopter to Children's.

    Devyn's death was ruled a homicide in April 2015.

    A jury convicted Diamanté Ellis in March, but his family maintains he is innocent.

    "My brother was always there for Devyn the way he needed to be," Pre'Asha Ellis said.

    "Diamanté would never hurt that baby," said his aunt Regina Watson.

    Diamanté Ellis told the judge he had always been a good father, was not a hurtful person and would do his best to rehabilitate himself.

    Devyn's mother was not in court and did not give a victim impact statement. Not long after the death, she gave birth to the couple's second child.