Emotions spill out as man learns fate in death of shaken baby

Emotions spill out as man learns fate in death of shaken baby
TACOMA, Wash. -- An emotional outburst in court disrupted the sentencing of a man who pleaded guilty to killing his baby daughter.

Ivyree Flowers admitted to violently shaking 8-month-old Leileah when her crying disrupted his video game. Leileah died more than a year ago in Tacoma.

The baby's mother was not in court Wednesday. Leila's maternal grandmother was present, however, and addressed the court.

"A piece of my heart is missing because she made me smile. She was my joy," said Jeannie Williamson.

As Williamson told the judge about her granddaughter, Flowers' own mother grew angry and refused to sit down. As a result, Flowers' mother and several other family members were thrown out of court.

"My child is about to go to (prison) for an accident," said Flowers' mother.

The outburst halted the proceedings as court officials tried to calm the defendant's relatives. But Williamson and her family did not want the disruptions to overshadow the little girl's death.

"The disruption that they have caused, not just today but prior to this -- I don't understand it," said Steve Harrington, Leileah's great uncle.

Even though Flowers pleaded guilty, he has maintained Leileah's death was an accident.

"I want to let everyone know that I'm very sorry for the loss we took. I also want the courts to know that this was an accident," he said.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge James Orlando said he doesn't believe Flowers is truly remorseful, and sentenced him to 18 years, exceeding the prosecutor's request.