‘You failed him just like everybody else’: Family of 3-year-old killed vent frustration over spilt verdict

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Prosecutors and relatives of the victim are venting their disappointment over the verdict in a stunning case of deadly child abuse.

In Monroe County Court on Thursday, Anthony Love was found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder for the death of a 3-year-old boy.

“A lot of anger,” sighed Dearie Phillips, godmother of the little victim.

A group of the little boy’s relatives, who’d been in court for the trial, left the courtroom disappointed at the verdict and prosecutors acknowledged this “partial” conviction was less than they’d hoped for.

“It’s a tough one to swallow,” said Assistant Monroe County District Attorney Sara VanStrydonck.

After almost three days of deliberation, the jury found 33-year-old Love guilty of manslaughter, but not guilty of second degree murder for the death of his girlfriend’s son, 3-year-old Kei’Mere Marshall.

The little boy died in July of 2020 from what prosecutors say was repeated beatings by Love.

Loved ones knew him as “Moochie” and called out the jury.

“What y’all did for him was nothing,” Phillips said. “You failed him just like everybody else around him failed him. Because you were stuck on a word.”

It was the words that brought the jury up short. Jurors repeatedly asked the judge to go over the legal explanation of “depraved indifference to human life” that would add up to second degree murder in a case of child abuse.

“Once it’s explained to you six times, I mean, you should know what it means,” Phillips exclaimed.

“I certainly think that the evidence that we put before this jury, and in this court, proves beyond a reasonable doubt, about the fact the defendant’s depravity,” VanStrydonck added. “In fact, I haven’t handled a case that had more depravity, especially to a 3-year-old.”

Love’s legal team was subdued.

“It was a horrible case and there’s no question this jury took their time and have been very thorough, and went over everything for the last two days,” said defense attorney Peter Pullano. “From the beginning, we talked about the proof that the prosecution had and also the lack of proof that there were just many, many, questions.”

Prosecutors are promising to try to get the maximum for love when he’s sentenced at the beginning of March.

He could get seven to 25 years in prison, a prospect that still doesn’t satisfy Phillips.

“He will still be able to see his kids, his grandkids,” she said. “Moochie never got a chance to make no kids. He won’t have a chance to have no grandkids. He won’t be able to give his brothers nieces and nephews.”

Kei’mere’s mother, Andrea Lipton, is charged with second degree manslaughter for his death.

She’s scheduled to go on trial in April.