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Jury finishes deliberations for the day in trial of mother, boyfriend accused of killing 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett

Posted at 10:01 AM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 11:15:28-04

CLEVELAND — Day 5 of the murder trial of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett's mother, Sierra Day and her mother's boyfriend, Deonte Lewis continued Wednesday.

The prosecution and defense for both Day and Lewis delivered their closing arguments. Watch a stream of the closing arguments below:

Day’s defense lawyer argued that the evidence shows that Day did not purposefully or intentionally cause the death of her daughter.

“Is there a sinister motive in the things that she said and did? Is there a sinister motive in how she acted and responded? Or, is she a young lady that operates in the bottom 3 percent of our population? Is she a young lady with such cognitive difficulties that she doesn’t understand some of those things?” Day’s defense attorney said.

Lewis’ attorney defended her client by trying to pin Aniya’s death solely on her mother.

“He didn’t want this child to die, that’s why when he found her unresponsive, he called 911, he wanted to save her life,” said Lewis’ defense attorney during closing arguments Wednesday.

Prosecutors argued that both Day and Lewis failed the little girl when they abused her and left her to die in a Euclid apartment last March.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Sierra Day failed miserably in the care of her only child…Deonte Lewis failed miserably as her stepfather, her father, her whatever title he gave himself and he failed as a human being,” one state prosecutor said during closing arguments.

After closing arguments, the jury began deliberations. At about 4:30 p.m., court officials announced that the jury had finished deliberations for the day, and they would resume Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

Day 4 of the trial began with testimony from Day's sister, Aniya Day-Garrett's aunt. In her testimony, Day's sister described how her sister became very distant from her family and wasn’t coming around as much as she used to before she met Deonte Lewis.

Next to testify was a social worker for the Cuyahoga County Division of Child and Family Services.

Cuyahoga County Deputy Medical Examiner Joseph Felo said Aniya died a slow death, ruling her death as a homicide.

Felo determined that the girl died from a stroke caused by a blunt force injury to the head. He estimated the head injury occurred at a minimum of around 10 days to two weeks before her death.

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