YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — On a cloudy day, Bobbie Huzuar tearfully told the father of her child just before he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for her death that he took her sunshine away.
As Christian Sumpter, 24, sat with his head slumped at the table for the defense, Huzuar told Judge Anthony D’Apolito at Sumpter’s sentence hearing in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court how she’ll miss the “slobbering kisses” of her infant daughter, Adaleah.
“I won’t get any more smiles,” Huzuar said. “I’ll never get to see her crawl or walk.”
Sumpter was sentenced to an agreed upon 15 years in prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering for the Sept. 2, 2018 death of Adaleah, who died after being injured at an Austintown home.
Sumpter received a concurrent seven year sentence on a charge of felonious assault for breaking the jaw of a family member of the baby days after her death. He entered guilty pleas in both cases last week.
Sumpter was alone with the child when she was injured and he told police he was tossing the baby in the air and playing with her when he yawned and missed catching her, causing her to hit the floor.
However, prosecutors said the baby’s injuries did not match up with Sumpter’s story.
Huzuar said the last time she saw her daughter, she was purple and bruised. She said when doctors told her Adaleah did not survive brain surgery, “It felt like someone ripped my heart out of my chest.”
“I don’t think any amount of prison is enough,” Huzuar said. “She doesn’t get to come back and start over. He took my sunshine away.”
Peggy Huzuar, grandmother of Adaleah and mother of Bobbie, said she was called to the home when Adaleah was injured and went there right away. With tears running down her face, she said she took Adaleah outside into the sunshine, hoping that might revive her.
“I was hoping the sunshine would open her eyes,” Peggy Huzuar said. “All I heard was a whine. It was like she was saying, ‘help me.'”
As both women spoke, Sumpter was slumped over in his chair, chin against his chest, crying.
Sumpter tearfully apologized before he was sentenced.
“It breaks my heart,” Sumpter said. “The love of my life is gone. I am also grieving.”
Judge D’Apolito told the Huzuars that he decided to accept the plea agreement because it means there will not be a trial and the family will not have to worry about whether or not Sumpter would be convicted.
Because the sentence was agreed upon by defense attorneys and prosecutors, that means Sumpter cannot appeal and the only way he can be released from prison early is if he applies for judicial release and he is approved.
Judge D’Apolito said, however, he would never grant Sumpter judicial release.
Since the family now does not have to worry about going through a trial they can now try to heal, although D’Apolito acknowledged that any sentence he would give would not make up for the loss of Adaleah.
“There is nothing I can give him that give you back what you deserve or want,” Judge D’Apolito said.
Peggy Huzuar said she hopes Sumpter is reminded of Adaleah every day he is in prison.
“As you look in the mirror, Christian, I hope you see Adaleah, your daughter, because she looked just like you,” Peggy Huzuar said.