Guardians admit killing Canadian girl, 7

May 1, 2012 at 8:10 PM
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TORONTO, May 1 (UPI) -- A Canadian couple pleaded guilty Tuesday in the 2008 beating death of a 7-year-old girl in their custody.

Donna Irving, 33, and Warren Johnson, 50, entered guilty pleas to second-degree murder charges in the death of Katelynn Sampson, whose battered body was found in the couple's Toronto apartment, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. They are to serve at least 15 years in prison, the Toronto Star said.

Katelynn's mother, Bernice Sampson, wept upon hearing the details of the abuse her daughter endured. She had turned her daughter over to Irving, a friend, because she was facing drug-trafficking charges at the time. She was helped from the courtroom Tuesday by the girl's father, Mark Letang.

The CBC said an autopsy determined the girl had suffered 70 injuries, from bruising to cuts to fractures. She died Aug. 3, 2008, of blunt-force injuries.

Authorities said the girl had been to see a doctor 34 times during the first six years of her life with no health problems or bruises.

"I wish it happened to me, not to her," Irving said in court. "I can't sleep without seeing Katelynn's face. For the rest of my life, that girl will haunt me."

Investigators said they found a book, "The Devil's Chimney," stained with Katelynn's blood. In it, Irving had written: "Katelynn is the devil's child because she never listens. She smells bad because she never has a bath. Katelynn has died eyes, and a died soul [sic], heart, and brain."

The Star said investigators found a piece of paper on which Katelynn had printed the following sentence 62 times:

"I am A awful girl that's why know one wants me."

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