Guilty verdicts in Danieal Kelly case

July 15, 2011 4:15:55 PM PDT
The jury in the Danieal Kelly abuse case has found all three defendants guilty of all charges.

Kelly's father, Daniel Kelly Sr., was convicted of child endangerment for abandoning the girl with her unfit mother. Kelly claimed he was denied access to his daughter by her mother. But the prosecutor showed that he made little if any effort to see Danieal.

Danieal's mother, Andrea Kelly, is already in prison, serving 20 to 40 years after pleading guilty to third-degree murder.

Daniel Kelly faces up to seven years in prison.

"The court proceeding seems kind of trite and small in comparsion to the evil that led us to this spot," said Assistant District Attorney Ed McCann after the verdicts were announced. "But it's the best we could do, and I'm tremendously gratified by the jury's verdict."

The jury found a private social-services contractor who was hired by the city to monitor the family guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

City officials say they paid Mickal Kamuvaka's firm $1 million to supervise the city's neediest families, only to have social workers skip the visits.

Kamuvaka is already in jail, serving a 17-year federal sentence for fraud. Now she faces an additional 25 years for the manslaughter conviction.

A third defendant, former DHS worker Dana Poindexter, was found guilty of reckless endangerment and perjury. He was assigned to the Kelly family but rarely if ever checked in on Danieal. He faces up to 15 years in jail.

Kelly, who was 14 years old when she died in 2006, weighed only 42 pounds at the time of her death. She hadn't been to school in years and could not walk or talk.

It has been a five-year battle for justice for Danieal. The prosecutors assigned to the case hugged each other after the verdict.

"Validating this girl's life," said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Seiber about the verdicts. "And the fact that she had the right to live a real life that she was denied at every turn."

The three defendants will be sentenced in September, and that will be the end of this long, sad saga.