TAMPA — Deandre Gilmore waited three years for his weeklong trial in the death of his ex-girlfriend's 19-month-old daughter. But his sentencing hearing Monday morning lasted only three minutes, ending in a 15-year prison term.
Gilmore, 34, was convicted Friday of manslaughter and felony battery. He can serve his 15-year manslaughter sentence and five-year felony battery sentence at the same time, Judge Samantha Ward said Monday. He will get credit for time served awaiting trial.
Neither Gilmore, his mother, Charlene Cannon, his former girlfriend Nayashia Williams nor the handful of other friends and family members who sat in the brief proceedings revealed any outer signs of emotions at the sentencing. Seconds after they filed out of the courtroom, though, bailiffs were called to the small waiting area by the elevators where the two camps were forced to mingle.
Shouting from the hallway was audible in the courtroom, and spectators were prevented from leaving until bailiffs restored order.
Gilmore never addressed the court during his trial; nor did he provide any statements to Hillsborough Circuit Judge Samantha Ward during his sentencing. But in two recordings played in court last week, jurors heard Gilmore repeatedly tell Tampa Police Department investigators that little Myla Presley fell in the bathtub and hit her head during the few minutes he left her unattended while he gathered her clothes and a towel.
Prosecutors seeking charges of aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder introduced medical evidence that showed multiple hemorrhages in Myla's brain, bleeding under her scalp and bruising elsewhere on her body.
"Mr. Gilmore has always indicated that he left the baby, the 19-month-old child, in the tub," Gilmore's public defender, Catisha Smith, said during the hearing. "He was remorseful, he apologized from the very beginning, and he was willing to resolve this case but did not want child abuse attached to it, which is what the jury ultimately decided as well."