Michael Wayne Livesay, 28, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for the death of his daughter.
Livesay was originally charged with a first degree felony for her death in a home near 36th Street and Ironton Avenue. However, the prosecution willing to proceed on a second-degree felony instead.
Livesay pleaded guilty. He will also get credit for 37 months of prison time in a federal case for illegal firearm possession.
In September of 2015, Livesay told police he fell asleep while his 3-month-old daughter Vera Ruth Livesay was unattended in a bathtub. EMS took her to University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
Some of Livesay’s family members showed attended the plea deal on Tuesday. Michael’s sister Priscilla Livesay said that more than anything she’s relieved to have the sentencing over.
“So for me it’s been its been hard you know I haven’t really had time to grieve i don’t really go see [my brothers] because I don’t know what to say, it’s been overwhelming,” she said through tears. “But now I can breathe, I can exhale and put this behind us, it tore our family upside down.”
She said her family is still devastated about losing Vera, and that maybe her death is something they’ll never fully heal from. But she said public criticism and ridicule of her family after Vera’s death has compounded her family’s pain.
Livesay said she’s frustrated to see the media and members of the justice system characterizing what happened to her brother as though he intentionally endangered his daughter. Livesay is convinced that what happened in Vera’s death was an accident. She is adamant that her brother was a good parent who did the best he could.
Livesay is hoping the public will refrain from verbally attacking and judging her family.
“You make it hard for me to even say my name or be seen because I’m afraid of what someone thinks so if I could just say one thing to the world I would say: he was a good dad, he got what he deserved and we can move forward now,” she said.