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Court erupts after drug dealing junkie is sentenced for toddler’s drugging death in upstate New York

February 28, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Court erupts after drug dealing junkie is sentenced for toddler’s drugging death in upstate New York Joshua Bennett was sentenced to 8 years for Kayleigh's death. Her mother Rachel Ball will be sentenced March 4th

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An upstate New York courtroom erupted with emotion after a judge sentenced a drug dealing junkie to eight years in prison for the drugging death of his girlfriend’s 13-month-old daughter.

A judge in Washington County, New York listened as 35-year-old Joshua Bennett apologized in court and said he loved 13-month-old Kayleigh Cassell.

The child was found dead last year with heroin and cocaine in her system. Bennett sentence is part a plea deal, which saw him plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide and felony drug charges.

The toddler’s relatives exploded with emotion after Bennet’s comments, prompting one woman to yell, “You liar!” while others cried out loud in court.

Rachel Ball, 28, who is the child’s mother also pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide and drug charges. She now faces up to 11 years when she is sentenced on March 4th.

The child was found dead in Bennett’s home in Kingsbury, New York last February.

Police said the couple’s apartment was a drug den, which they shared with five other children, and the pair often drugged the toddler, leading her to develop health complications including pneumonia.

Judge Kelly McKeighan called Bennett’s drug dealing “the lazy way out,” saying he only worried for his own well-being and was reluctant to acknowledge his role in the Kayleigh’s death.

“You and Rachel Ball were responsible for killing that child,” he said.

Robin Sorrell, the toddler’s great aunt who had custody of Kayleigh for a short timed described the child as a “happy baby.”

During the victim’s impact statement Sorrell said in court, “Not a day goes by that she is not thought of, or a tear is not shed, no sentence is long enough for Bennett, and she pray to God every day that you get punished slowly.”

As court officers led Bennett from the courtroom, Ball’s aunt, June Terpening, cursed at him and continued screaming until the judge ordered her removed from the courthouse.

Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan said the evidence of the case couldn’t prove who drugged Kayleigh, but did show “that Kayleigh was in the way” of the couple’s drug use and sales.

Bennett will now serve a total of 12 to 14 years in prison in connection with Kayleigh’s death and for a related conviction for selling heroin.

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