Arthur Morgan III killed his two-year-old daughter in a way that caused her suffering before death, stressed the judge in this case. Morgan threw the toddler into a creek strapped in her car seat. Before tossing her into the "cold rushing water in the darkness of the night," he weighed down the car seat with a carjack, according to Newsday on May 28.
He was found guilty of murdering the child last month and at his sentencing Wednesday he was given life in prison, but that was only because New Jersey doesn’t have the death penalty on the books. Superior Court Judge Anthony Mellaci Jr. made a point of telling Morgan that “you’d be candidate No. 1 for its (death penalty) imposition.”
When given the opportunity to speak at his sentencing he apologized to his ex-partner, Imani Benton, for the deterioration of their relationship, but he did not apologize for killing his daughter, Tierra Morgan-Glover. The judge also took the opportunity to repeat to Morgan the horrific crime he had committed.
He told Morgan that his little girl was alive when “she was placed in the water in pitch darkness.” He said the baby had to suffer the “unthinkable action of having water rush in and fill her lungs while strapped into that car seat.”
The judge made sure to reiterate to Morgan that he caused this child to suffer before she died. He also said to the father who killed his little daughter, "Your actions were horrific, unthinkable and appalling."
Morgan's demeanor through the court proceedings were not at all like a man who was in remorse for killing his child. He turned and gave a wink seemingly to the courtroom audience when his verdict was read last month. He later explained that the wink was aimed at his sister. He said that this was his way of telling her he was alright with the verdict. You can see him in the video above as he offers that wink after the verdict.
Morgan apparently became angered over the breakup with the girl’s mother, explains the prosecutor. It is believed that he killed this little girl because he wanted the girl’s mother but couldn’t have her. He decided to “take away the one precious thing in her life,” conveyed prosecutor Marc LeMieux.
CBS News reports that when Morgan was given a chance to talk at the sentencing hearing he actually said that his daughter was "in a better place." He also acted as if what he did was on the heroic side rather than the brutal murder of a baby.
The judge cut him off as he started to spew allegations of abuse against the mother of the child’s family. There was never any reports of abuse. The judge told him that he was there to speak about the act of killing his daughter. He also said:
"I want to say I'm sorry for the deterioration of what I thought was a beautiful friendship between the two of us that blossomed into a daughter," Morgan told Imani Benton. "For anybody that was truly affected by this, I hope we can all heal from this situation, knowing Tierra is in a better place."
He continued to ramble, saying that he was a good father and portraying himself as a “heroic figure wrongly maligned,” according to Newsday. He never seemed to fathom that he committed a crime, it was almost as if he thought he had some twisted right to do this.