A lady from Illinois is dealing with life in jail after being convicted of murdering her boyfriend’s Eight-year-old daughter, following years of abuse.
Cynthia Baker was convicted of homicide within the demise of her boyfriend’s daughter, Rica Rountree, who died in January of peritonitis, a situation brought on by ruptures of her gut, based on testimony from forensic pathologist Dr. Scott Denton, WGLT experiences.
On Nov. 19, the 41-year-old lady was discovered responsible of homicide, aggravated battery of a kid, home battery, and youngster endangerment after years of abusing Rica.
The abuse passed off in entrance of her personal youngsters and was so commonplace that video proof confirmed the opposite youngsters strolling by as Baker abused the little woman, WGLT experiences.
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The girl’s personal daughter, 7, testified that she noticed her mom kick Rica twice within the weeks earlier than the woman’s demise and in a separate incident she stated her mom “laughed” after Rica hit her head on the TV stand, WGLT experiences.
Baker and her boyfriend, Rica’s father, Richard Rountree, had video of the abuse on their cell telephones, which was obtained by Regular Police after Baker’s arrest in April.
Through the three days of testimony in mid-November, the state’s proof included a number of disturbing movies of Baker and Rountree abusing Rica, WGLT experiences.
The video confirmed little Rica within the household’s condo in Bloomington the place she was compelled to carry cans in her outstretched arms for extended intervals of time.
Each time her arms would fall, Baker would put her arms across the youngster’s neck and say, “Do I must put a collar on you?” A video recorded by Baker and shared with Rountree confirmed her banging the woman’s head towards a wall and slapping her bare physique, WGLT experiences.
Whereas Rountree was not charged within the homicide of his daughter, he did condone Baker’s abuse of the kid, based on textual content messages shared with jurors.
Within the textual content messages, the couple exchanged complaints about Rica and their mutual need that she dwell elsewhere, WGLT experiences.
Rountree offered Regular police with a letter he obtained from Baker throughout a weekend jail go to by which she urged him “to lie and take the blame” for Rica’s demise throughout his testimony. He by no means testified, WGLT experiences.
Assistant State’s Legal professional Erika Reynolds stated throughout her closing remarks to the jury how Rica “was battered and abused in entrance of each child on this home,” WGLT experiences.
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“For many, it’s unthinkable however for Rica, it was regular,” Reynolds stated throughout closing arguments, Folks experiences. “Rica was handled as lower than as this defendant’s punching bag and her ache served as leisure for your complete household.”
Rica’s mom, Ann Simmons, who’s presently serving 2.5 years in jail for forgery case and for failing to finish the phrases of her probation on an aggravated DUI cost, informed WFLT, “All people failed her. I failed her,” based on Folks.
An post-mortem reported that Rica had slowly died from inner accidents after Baker kicked her within the abdomen.
The report additionally acknowledged that Rica had 67 marks because of intensive abuse throughout her physique, Folks experiences.
In keeping with DCFS, Rica died 16 days after her mom was sentenced, Folks experiences.
Rica is certainly one of 103 youngsters who’ve died this 12 months whereas concerned with DCFS in Illinois, based on WGLT.
“My daughter ought to haven’t have ever died. It ought to have by no means been this fashion,” Simmons stated, Folks experiences.
“DCFS is deeply saddened by the lack of Rica Rountree,” the company stated in an announcement to WGLT.
“Throughout her time together with her father, DCFS performed a number of investigations into allegations of abuse and located these allegations to be unfounded,” the company’s assertion continued.
“There’s presently a pending investigation into this demise and we’re dedicated to understanding precisely what occurred on this case and being absolutely clear with the general public.”
“DCFS is working intently with the brand new administration to evaluation our practices, insurance policies, and procedures in an effort to absolutely dwell as much as our mission to guard weak youngsters in Illinois.”
Because of the heinous nature of the crime, Baker is dealing with life in jail and can be sentenced on Feb. three, 2020, WGLT experiences.
(Photograph: Regular Police Division)
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