by: Tom Jones Updated:
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - A grandmother tearfully pleaded with a judge to give the man convicted of murdering her 2-year-old grandson the maximum punishment.
Defendant Kemra Matthew sat silently as Jadien's grandmother testified about the impact his death has had on her during Matthew's sentencing.
"A voice has been silenced forever,” Shannon Harvey said. "The twinkle in eyes have been erased forever. Sweet giggles are gone forever. And so, your honor, I ask that you lock this murderer away forever."
Benefield did just that, sentencing Matthew to life without parole plus 20 years for Jadien's brutal death in 2012.
Matthew was babysitting his girlfriend's four children when they became ill and were rushed to a hospital.
Doctors learned Jadien suffered a fractured skull, and others had bruises. Two other kids suffered serious injuries, as well.
Matthew denied hurting the children, and the kids' mother told Channel 2s Tom Jones at the time that Matthew didn't do it.
Matthew shed a tear as his mother testified.
"All I'm asking is for mercy," Heather Greenaway shouted from the stand.
Greenaway said her son took care of his girlfriend's kids like they were his own.
"He's guilty of being a good son," she said.
The victim's family and friends cried during her testimony.
Matthew thanked his attorney, his family and then said he loved the children.
The judge said the children were in a house of horrors, and she thought it was telling that the children's mother, who was in court, didn't testify.
Benefield then sentenced Matthew to life without parole.
Jadien's grandmother had one more forever.
"Jadien is gone forever. Forever," she screamed.
Benefield said the state was involved in this case but didn't do enough to protect Jadien.