The grieving dad of a little girl who was raped and murdered by a paedophile has told her killer “I forgive you, bro”.
Felecia Williams, nine, had been left in the care of her mum’s neighbour Eboni Wiley in May 2014.
But she was sexually assaulted and strangled by Wiley’s boyfriend Granville Ritchie when she left them alone to go out and buy marijuana.
He then put her body in a suitcase and threw it in to Tampa harbour, Florida.
Ritchie told police that he had given her money to go and buy sweets and that she hadn’t come back.
Three months later her remains were found.
On Friday, a year after his initial sentencing, Ritchie heard he would be heading to Death Row for his crimes – and astonishingly, Felecia’s dad told him he would be going there with his forgiveness.
Jerome Williams said: “I’m not like everybody else, bro.
“I ain’t got no ill will against you. The journey you got ahead of you going to need God. I forgive you.
“I forgive you, bro, that’s how strong my God is.
“I come here and smile with no ill will. You are my brother. You made a mistake. You’ve got time to make right with God.”
But the slain girl’s mum, Felecia Demerson, took a different approach.
After showing the court a blanket that she carries with her that has her little girl’s face on, and that she uses to cocoon herself when her loss overwhelms her, she spoke to him directly to say that she wishes he would die in pain.
She told him: “The only thing I regret today is I cannot ask for his fate and that would be for him to be hung. For him to feel what my daughter felt over and over again.”