Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A Wichita man who confessed to the death of his girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter learned today he will spend the next 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Michael Janzen, 28, beat little Brooklyn Brown so severely in late November 2008 that doctors found multiple skull fractures. Janzen pleaded guilty to second degree murder charges earlier this year.
Janzen originally told police the girl fell in the bathtub, but later confessed to his role in the crime.
In court Wednesday, Janzen asked for forgiveness and admitted he deserved to go to prison. However, he said he is a good, hard working and honest man. He asked that he not be remembered solely for what he called the worst mistake of his life.
"I would sell my soul and burn in hell for eternity to get back what was taken away too soon," Janzen told the judge Wednesday morning.
"I considered Brooklyn my daughter and treated her equal to my own. I would not wish the death of a child on my worst enemy," he said. "I want my daughters to see you have to step up and take responsibility for your actions. Whether you intended for something to happen or not, you have to take the punishment, no matter how severe."
Janzen spoke for about 15 minutes Wednesday. When he finished, Judge Timothy Henderson scolded him.
"I don't know the actual count of the personal pronouns you used in the last few minutes," the judge said, "but I was struck by how many times it was about 'I' and 'me'."
Brooklyn's mother stood before the court and addressed the judge as well.
"He took a life away from me that was never his to take," Kasey Brown said through tears. "I wonder if people know what it's like to hold a 10-month-old baby as she dies. I held her as she gasped for air, until she was gone."
Following the plea agreement, the judge sentenced Janzen to ten years in prison. He also slapped Janzen with $100,000 in fines to the court.