Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Death of Infant Daughter

A Pensacola father will spend 25 years in prison for fatally crushing his four-month-old daughter.

Escambia Circuit Judge Jan Shackleford has sentenced Joshua Ray Vass to the maximum sentence.

Vass claims he found the infant unresponsive after giving her formula and putting her down for a nap. He says her neck and ribs were broken while he tried to revive her.

Escambia County sheriff's investigators say Sierra Vass's injuries were not consistent with an accident, and the infant had numerous broken ribs at various stages of healing. The medical examiner determined that she died from blunt-force injuries to the neck and chest on July 31, 2003.

Vass pleaded no contest to second-degree murder on October 14.

Vass and his wife had asked the judge for a more lenient sentence. Vass said he was trying to save his daughter's life and that he knows right from wrong.


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