Nixzmary stepdad gets 26 1/3 years

Faces 25 years in prison
April 3, 2008 4:08:15 PM PDT
The man convicted in the gruesome death of his 7-year-old stepdaughter has been sentenced to 26 1/3 years in prison. Cesar Rodriguez was convicted last month of charges including manslaughter in Nixzmary Brown's January 2006 death. The stepfather was acquitted of murder.

Rodriguez stood up in court, his head shaven at this point, and told the judge, "I am sorry for causing any emotional pain."

"I love Nixzmary and I am accused of something that I did not do," he went on to say. "But I will do my sentence."

Rodriguez admitted he had abused Nixzmary, but denied killing her.

At Rodriguez' trial, prosecutors said the 36-pound girl had been bound to a chair, starved and forced to urinate in a litter box. Social workers had been alerted but found no conclusive evidence of abuse.

Prosecutors had asked for consecutive sentences, which would have totaled 29 years. But they were bunched together, meaning the total is 26 1/3 years.

At one point, the prosector also relayed a story. She said that Nixzmary's brother, Javier, when told of his stepfather's conviction, said, "I hope that he is frail and weak when he gets out of prison so that he can't hurt any other children."

Defense attorneys argue that if anyone is guilty of this crime, it is the mother. She faces a murder trial later this year.

They were looking for a minimum sentence of only 15 years.