KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The jury only took a few hours to deliberate. Once the morning was over, they returned to the courtroom in Kalamazoo and found 25-year-old Daveeta Walker guilty of torturing and killing her four-year-old daughter.
"All murders are awful," said Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting. "But there are some cases, the facts of them are really difficult. This was one that was particularly difficult factually."
Walker was convicted of murder, child abuse and torture in the death of Kharisma Richardson. Officers testified all week about what they saw when they when they first arrived at Walker's home back in late March. Kharisma was lying lifeless on the floor, one officer said. He immediately performed CPR on her. Her body was covered in bruises and the burns on her feet began to blister. When another officer checked the temperature of the water coming out of the faucet, it was 170 degrees.
"That this was happening, this is extraordinarily egregious," said Getting. "The abuse, the torture that Kharisma went through was known to other people and they chose not to say anything."
Family and friends were present for the verdict. Walker, who during her own testimony said she was coerced into confessing that she beat her daughter, shook her head after each "guilty" verdict was read. Then tears streamed down her face.
"To have a child’s life be taken at only 4 years old, to never have the opportunity to even go too school, let alone graduate or get married or have children or raise a family, to have a child’s life ended before it begins is a tragedy that I don’t even know how to describe," said Getting.
Walker faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. She will be sentenced on November 7th. Getting said it's important for people to say something if they see something suspicious. It's important for the authorities to get involved in order to prevent this from happening to another 4-year-old.
"Call Silent observer and let them know," said Getting. "Call your friend, a police officer and let them know. Report it to someone. We can’t allow our children to be tortured to death."