The father of a 7-year-old-fashioned boy whose body was found encased in concrete in a storage unit in 2018 was sentenced to 72 years in prison on Friday in his death.
Leland Pankey, 40, obtained the maximum sentence that you can imagine after pleading responsible in January to child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased body in the death of Caden McWilliams.
Prosecutors dropped a murder charge below the deal, partly because authorities may no longer specify how the boy died. They also said the deal avoided holding a trial that would have featured gruesome evidence and re-traumatized Caden’s relatives.
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The sentencing hearing included a scramble demonstrate of photos of Caden, a child who family, classmates and teachers remembered as a caring boy who cherished dinosaurs and tinkering, District Attorney Beth McCann said.
Pankey’s partner, Elisha Pankey, previously pleaded responsible to child abuse resulting in death below a plea deal that required her cooperation with prosecutors. She faces between 16 and 32 years in prison when she is sentenced April 1.
Authorities found Caden’s body in December 2018 while investigating allegations of home violence that Elisha Pankey made against her husband.
An autopsy found signs that the boy was severely emaciated and evidence of injuries to his head, chest and limbs. Some of the injuries confirmed signs of healing, however authorities weren’t able to determine how he died.
Court docket documents revealed that Elisha Pankey allegedly told investigators that her husband saved their son in a canine kennel “a few days” earlier than he died in July 2018 at a resort the place the family had been living.
Authorities have no longer explained why the boy’s last name differed from his parents.
McCann, who has called the case one in all the most horrific ever handled by the district attorney’s place of business, said in a statement that Caden’s relatives are reminded of him as soon as they stare red-tailed hawks standard in Colorado, which they stare as representing the “elegance of Caden.”
“Caden cherished to tinker and determine out how things worked and his family believes he would likely have been an engineer if he was given the chance to reach adulthood,” McCann said.