A couple was sentenced to 32 years in jail after beating, torturing and ultimately killing a 4-year-old girl, authorities recently announced.
Bianca Stanch “hated her boyfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, Samiah Downing,” the San Bernardino County District Attorney said in a statement. Downing’s father, Ronald Greer, conspired with Stanch to consistently beat and tortured Downing until she died.
Stanch and Greer were found guilty of first-degree murder on Oct. 6, 2020, according to the statement. They were also found guilty of torturing Downing and of child abuse. The pair was sentenced March 12 to 32 years to life for Downing’s death.
“Unfortunately, because of the actions of her father and his girlfriend, Samiah wasn’t here to tell her own story to the jurors,” Prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Justin Crocker said. “Samiah was betrayed by the people closest to her and they have now been held accountable for that betrayal.” (RELATED: Mom Charged With Strangling 4-Year-Old Son, Police Say)
The trial, which was delayed numerous times at the request of the defense and then again because of coronavirus, uncovered repeated abuse at the hands of Stanch and Greer.
Stanch had an “extreme dislike” for Downing, and Downing was “subjected to daily beatings” from Stanch, the district attorney’s office reported. Witnesses recalled Stanch and Greer used to duct-tape Downing’s wrists and ankles and would then leave her alone overnight so she was unable to get up and get water. The couple also put a deadbolt lock on Downing’s door so that she could not escape during the night or day, according to the statement.
The district attorney reported that during one occasion, Downing managed to make it to the kitchen where she desperately searched for a beverage and ultimately had to drink cleaning solution.
“Torturing a child in San Bernardino County will be met with the most vigorous of prosecutions, and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions,” District Attorney Jason Anderson said. “When Samiah was murdered, our community was also greatly affected by the actions of her killers.”
The day before Downing died, she was forced to stand in the corner for eight hours and was beaten. The next day, Stanch beat Downing with a “belt and cords” and then “poured a pot of boiling water on Samiah’s back and chest.”
Downing was also deprived of water during the final days of her life, the district attorney’s office said.
Stanch and Greer went out to dinner the night Downing’s death and left her with Stanch’s cousin, Rayshawn Stanch. Downing was “lethargic and sleepy” and when Stanch and Greer arrived home they found she had died.
The trio then drove Downing out to the desert and buried her. An autopsy found she died due to dehydration.