Former marine to be sentenced in the coming weeks - News 11's Adonis Albright reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - It's only a matter of time before a former Marine convicted of murdering his toddler stepdaughter learns his fate.
A jury in January found Jared Cardwell guilty of second-degree murder for the death of 18-month-old Celine Carreno. The case has now moved into the penalty phase. Prosecutors and defense attorneys will call more witnesses to help determine how much time Cardwell should serve for his crime.
Judge Brandon Kinsey on Friday heard from Celine's grandmother, Nancy Matsumoto. She asked for closure to the five-year-old case, requesting the case be wrapped up so her family can spend Easter in peace.
However, the judge granted the defense 30 days to gather its witnesses before Cardwell is sentenced. He will appear back in court on April 23. The judge said Cardwell could be sentenced the week after, likely in early May.
Kinsey told a crying Matsumoto, "It’s been, um… a long time in this case that you’ve had to live with this", before granting the defense its request for additional time.
Evidence showed Celine died of blunt force trauma to the head. She passed away in May of 2015, but her stepfather's murder trial didn't begin until October of 2020.
Cardwell could face up to 22 years in prison when finally sentenced.