Man who shot toddler daughter and told mother 'now you’ll have to live with it' sentenced to death
Lionel Francis was convicted of capital murder in May, with the jury voting 11 to 1 to recommend the death penalty.
Alabama native Lionel Francis has been sentenced to death for killing his 20-month-old daughter Alexandria in May 2016. The shooting happened at their family home after he got into a minor argument with Alexandria’s mother Ashley Ross about money.
According to Ross who testified against Francis, she was getting dressed after taking a shower and their daughter was toddling around when Francis came in looking relatively calm. However, when she looked away, she heard him cocking and firing a gun, shooting Alexandria in the forehead. Following this, he allegedly also told her, “Now you’ll have to live with what you made me do.”
People reports that when Ross asked Francis if he would kill her too, he replied that he would not, but he “wasn’t going to have a baby with you, either.”
Francis was convicted of capital murder in May, with the jury voting 11 to 1 to recommend the death penalty. One juror voted for life term sentence without the possibility of parole. Alabama’s law states that if 10 or more jurors vote for the death penalty, the judge gets to take the final call.
After hearing both sides of the argument on Thursday, July 25, Circuit Judge Ruth Ann Hall sentenced Francis to death. Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit, who pushed for the death penalty had claimed that if anybody deserved the death penalty it would be Francis.
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving than somebody that executes another human being, let alone a child, let alone a toddler, let alone his own biological two-year-old,” said Douthit, adding, “If you think that some people just deserve death, this is the guy.”
Meanwhile, defense attorney Bruce Gardner argued that Francis was remorseful and requested judge Hall to sentence his client to life in prison without parole, especially since the jury’s verdict was not unanimous.
It is understood that Francis would be appealing the sentencing.