A Cleveland Heights man was sentenced Tuesday for his role in the death of 2-year-old Zanyiah Hollins.
Teriall Mitchell pleaded guilty and was ordered three years in prison, which is the maximum allowed for reckless homicide and child endangering.
Mitchell, who was babysitting at the time, was the only person home with Zanyiah while her mother went to the BMV on July 3, 2014. He says he and the toddler were sitting on a covered radiator next to an open window eating ice cream. When he got up to clean the apartment, he left the girl unattended and she fell through the screen of a second-story window in her mother's apartment.
"I just want to know what triggered you to set my daughter up in a window? You know that's a danger zone," said Zanyiah's mother, Ashley Hollins.
"It was just complete and utter disregard for the safety of Zanyiah, completely ignoring the risk that leaving a young child that was just becoming mobile at that age next to a second-story window with nothing separating her from a fall but a mesh screen," said prosecutor Jeffrey Schnatter.
Zanyiah was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma. She died during surgery.
Even though her death was ruled accidental, police say a polygraph test showed Mitchell lied about what actually happened.
"You made a horrible error. You made a horrible error. Poor judgment. Absolutely poor judgment," said Judge Brendan Sheehan with Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. "Window or no window, no child should be standing on a radiator unattended."
Mitchell also received six months in jail on a charge of gross sexual imposition with a minor in an unrelated case. In addition to jail time, Mitchell will have to register as a sex offender for 15 years once released.