DETROIT – Kenneth French glared Tuesday at the man awaiting his sentence for fatally shooting French's 2-year-old daughter in what authorities said was a revenge attack.
"I just want him to know he's a coward. He's a punk," French told the court. "If he'd have left my baby out of this, it would have been done a different way."
Minutes later, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Ulysses Boykin told Raymone Jackson, 25, that he would spend the rest of his life in prison without parole. The sentence was mandatory.
Kamiya Gross was shot in the head on July 1, 2014, outside a house in Inkster, southwest of Detroit. French and a 13-year-old girl were wounded in the attack.
Kamiya was the intended target, police initially said, in retaliation for an earlier shooting in which Jackson held the girl's father responsible.
Jackson also was sentenced to up to 45 years in prison for torture and assault with intent to murder. A jury convicted him earlier this month.
Erica Gross, Kamiya's mother, sneered at Jackson.
"Whatever happens to you, you will never know how I feel," she said. "Have a great life."
Raphael Hearn also was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for first-degree murder. Prosecutors say Hearn helped Jackson plan and carry out the attack.
"The world's not going to miss you," French told Hearn before the sentencing. "Don't nobody care about you, don't nobody love you."
When given an opportunity to speak before being sentenced, Jackson apologized to the girl's families.
"I'd like to say that none of this was supposed to happen," he said.
The judge called the girl's slaying "one of the most heinous crimes" he's ever seen.
Jackson was sentenced to 11 months in the Wayne County Jail in September 2013 in a drug case while on parole for a 2010 drug conviction. He was released in March 2014 for good behavior, about three months before Kamiya was slain.
Before he left jail, the Michigan Department of Corrections had the option to pick Jackson up and return him to prison as a violation of parole in the 2010 conviction, but the state declined to do so, a jail spokeswoman said last year.