In May 2011, Christopher Cheary, a heroin addict, committed the worst crime a man can commit. He raped, tortured, and murdered 3-year-old Sophia Acosta, his girlfriend’s daughter, because she refused to call him daddy.
While the girl’s mother Erika Smith went on a drug run in Visalia, California, 26-year-old Cheary was left in charge of the 3-year-old. But the twisted man decided to use the opportunity alone with the toddler to brutally rape, torture, and eventually murder her on May 7.
Before he sexually assaulted and raped the helpless little girl, Cheary beat her. When emergency services arrived at the scene, they found the little girl lying naked and soaking wet at the scene of the crime. Cheary was arrested…
After a two-month trial that ended earlier this month, the 26-year-old drug addict was convicted of first degree murder, rape, and torture.
On Wednesday, the jury has recommended that Cheary be sentenced to death.
The court clerk ready the verdict aloud, “We the jury find the appropriate penalty to be death for the murder of Sophia Acosta, dated 11/30/16, signed foreperson.”
“It’s not easy for them to make this decision,” said Tulare County Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos. “It shouldn’t be easy for them, but in some cases this is justice.”
A judge will issue his final sentenced on January 30. Although she hardly seems innocent, Sophia’s mother was never charged. And during the trail, Erika told the Tulare County Court that she allowed Cheary to live with her and her two daughters because she was trying to wean him off heroin.
When they began dating, Cheary’s abusive tendencies appeared. On the morning when Sophia was murdered, Cheary and Erika had an argument that the mother thought she could resolve by buying the addict heroin.
She returned with the highly addictive and illegal drugs and smoked them with Cheary. Then they heard a thump upstairs from the children’s bedroom. Sophia was unconscious and covered in her own vomit. They gave her a bath.
When the couple realized they couldn’t revive her, they called emergency services, who arrived to find the girl naked and soaking wet and the two adults high on heroin.
Sophia was rushed to Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia, CA, then transferred to Valley Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced brain dead. She was removed from life support days later.
Dr. Kathleen Murphy, one of the specialists who treated Sophia, said it was obvious she was “tortured.”
One emergency responder reported a pool of blood around the girl’s backside while they brought her to the hospital. The numerous blows to her head killed her. Plus, her genitalia were bruised and bleeding.
Other babysitters reported how Sophia was always afraid of Cheary. They also reported bleeding from her backside on other occasions.
Although Cleary was not related to Sophia or her younger sister, he insisted they call him “daddy.” When she refused, he snapped.
He claims he never raped or tortured the little girl and that her death was a medical mystery.
Do you think he should receive the death penalty?
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