A Duval county teacher and his wife have been sentenced to decades behind bars after they were found guilty in the death of their 4 year old daughter–a death authorities say was a result of child abuse.
A Jacksonville jury found 32-year-old teacher John Norfleet guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child and aggravated child abuse. Shavonn Norfleet, 34, was acquitted of first-degree murder but convicted of aggravated manslaughter of a child and aggravated child abuse. John Norfleet had been a teacher at Andrew Jackson High School but was let go following his arrest.
Under Florida law, John Norfleet was sentenced to mandatory life in prison. The 60-year sentence for his wife was the maximum penalty available. Circuit Judge Russell Healey presided over the case.
Prosecutors said 4 year old Jada would routinely be beaten with a 1-by-2 piece of lumber known as the “rod” whenever she would do something her father, John, and stepmother, Shavonn didn’t approve of.
Authorities said the girl endured an “ongoing abusive situation for months”, and was beaten by both parents with the piece of lumber the night she died. The beatings were so traumatic and violent, authorities said, the girl’s heart stopped, causing her death in January 2015.