Newaygo Co. Man Sentenced to Life For Murder of Stepdaughter

A Newaygo County man is set to spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of his young step-daughter.

Wayne Brown was found guilty of child abuse and murder after his step daughter Laylah Heether was found dead after a half hour under his watch. The nearly two year court process came to an end today with his sentencing.

The courts are imposing life without parole,” said Judge Kevin Drake, “This is a mandatory sentence.”

Coming into the sentencing hearing, Brown already knew his fate. He was going away for life, for murdering his 14 month old step daughter Laylah Heether, a year and a half ago. Thursday’s court date gave a chance for Brown to apologize for what happened and gave Laylah’s family a chance to say their final words.

“I hope the memory haunts you but I know it won’t because psychopaths like you don’t have a conscience, no remorse.” said Laylah’s mother Breann Tabor, “You enjoy inflicting [pain on] other people but you are going to get what you deserve by going to prison for the rest of your life.”

This was also the first time much of Laylah’s family saw Brown since her death.

“Just like it started.” says Laylah’s great-grandmother Terrie Beardsley, “It’ll never be the same. I watched my family go through something that’s unimaginable.”

Laylah was found by her mother unconscious after Brown watched her and their 6 other children. He claimed her death was an accident.

“If he really believes that he really is psycho,” says Beardsley.

The autopsy shows repeated abuse and injuries lead to her death. His family says they have proof she was abused well before Brown ever came into her life.

“So we’ll wait for his appeal and maybe then the truth and the facts will actually come out other than assumption, opinion or ‘I believes,’” says Brown’s stepfather Herbert Faling.

If that fails, Brown will never again be a free man.

“I wish him a horrible, horrible life behind bars,” says Beardsley.

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