A Jamaican man was sentenced to death today for raping and killing a 9-year-old girl in Tampa, Florida.
According to the Associated Press, Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Michelle Sisco, affirmed a jury’s unanimous death penalty recommendation for 41-year-old Granville Ritchie.
Ritchie was found guilty last year of first-degree murder, sexual battery and aggravated child abuse.
The prosecutor put forward that Ritchie was dating 9-year-old Felecia Williams’ neighbor, Eboni Wiley, in May 2014.
Ritchie and Wiley were watching the girl one day and took her to his mother’s apartment.
Prosecutors say Ritchie sexually assaulted and strangled the girl while Wiley went to buy marijuana.
Ritchie then hid the girl’s body in a suitcase and later dumped her from a causeway in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Wiley testified that Ritchie told her he gave Felecia money to buy candy at a nearby store, but she never returned.
Officials say Wiley had initially told police the girl ran away but changed her story after Felecia’s body was found.
Wiley was charged with lying during a missing person investigation and is scheduled to face trial next month.
Ritchie’s attorney, Bjorn Brunvand, argued that Ritchie’s abusive and violent childhood in Kingston, Jamaica, and lack of prior criminal history should prevent him from being put to death.