Florida man gets 30 years in prison for killing 3-year-old girl from Kansas
OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (KAKE) - The Florida man who killed a 3-year-old girl from Kansas nearly four years ago has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Cory Hagwell pleaded no contest to aggravated manslaughter of a child and other charges in connection to the death of Adelynn Merrell, according to video of court proceedings. He was sentenced this week.
Adelynn died on November 10, 2017 in Crestview, in the state's panhandle. Prosecutors said Hagwell kicked the little girl in the head the day before because she got out of her car seat. He then locked her in a bedroom closet.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said Hagwell found the girl dead several hours later and dumped her body in a wooded area. A deputy found Adelynn's body after Hagwell and the girl's mother reported her missing.
Adelynn was laid to rest at All Saints Cemetery in Salina, where she was born.
Adelynn's mother, Destinee Merrell, was charged with accessory after the fact to murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.
"The other children in the home were found to be severely malnourished and the investigation revealed they were routinely confined in bedrooms and closets," the sheriff's office said in November 2017.
Destinee Merrell remains in jail, but the status of her case was unclear Friday.