Man found guilty in torture, murder of girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter

Couple accused of abusing girl because she was having trouble being potty-trained

Man found guilty in torture, murder of girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter
Brad Fields, 28, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the abuse and death of his girlfriend's daughter. (Source: WDIV/CNN)

DETROIT (WDIV/CNN) - A 28-year-old man in Michigan was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty for the abuse and death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter.

Brad Fields was sentenced Tuesday after being found guilty on a list of charges, including felony murder, second-degree murder, torture and first-degree child abuse.

Fields and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Candice Diaz, were accused of abusing and killing Diaz’s 4-year-old daughter Gabrielle Barrett in January.

In court, the couple was accused of abusing Gabrielle because she was having trouble being potty-trained.

Gabrielle Barrett, 4, was pronounced dead at the hospital after police found her unresponsive with severe burns and bruises on Jan. 1. (Source: WDIV/CNN)
Gabrielle Barrett, 4, was pronounced dead at the hospital after police found her unresponsive with severe burns and bruises on Jan. 1. (Source: WDIV/CNN) ((Source: WDIV/CNN))

Gabrielle’s great-grandfather, Joe Guest, thanked Judge Vonda Evans for her ruling.

“Justice was done today, OK? Judge Evans seen fit to take into exactly what she should do, and I thank her for that,” Guest said.

Evans compared the home to the castle in “Beauty and the Beast” but said while the Beast “had a good heart,” Fields was a “murderer.”

Police found the little girl unresponsive Jan. 1 with severe burns and bruises all over her body. She was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

After Gabrielle’s death, the couple fled. They were found and arrested in Georgia.

Messages sent back and forth between Fields and Diaz were entered into evidence during Fields’ trial. They described punishments allegedly used such as beating, cold showers and taking away the girl’s pants.

Diaz will be in court later this month. She is facing the same charges as Fields.

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