PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Superior Court judge on Wednesday sentenced a Pawtucket man to life in prison for beating to death his 10-year-old daughter, Aleida, in 2013.

 “The defendant let her continue to suffer until she went into shock and died," Judge Netti C. Vogel said.

 “He beat a dying child,” Vogel said in chastising an unrepentant Jorge DePina for persisting in emotionally and physically abusing and torturing Aleida in the hours before his daughter's death.

 Vogel also faulted DePina for delivering the most “narcissistic” commentary she’d heard in her two decades on the bench, a rambling statement in which he denied all responsibility for Aleida’s death.

 "I would never have killed my daughter. ... I didn't know she was in pain," DePina said through his Creole interpreter.

“I know he’s sobbing for himself, not his daughter. Sir, you are a sadist, evil and a bully ... a sadist and a bully,” Vogel said, adding, “The defendant beat the joy out of his daughter.”

 “Sir, you killed the child. You murdered your daughter and everyone in this room knows,” Vogel said as DePina shook his head.

 A jury last month convicted DePina, 37, of second-degree murder in the death of the third-grader, a slight girl who died July 3, 2013, due to peritonitis brought on by perforation of her small intestine. The verdict indicated that the jury did not view DePina's crime as premeditated.

The panel issued a joint statement this week via email through the foreperson, Martyn Hollands: "The events surrounding the death of Aleida DePina were very difficult and disturbing for all 16 members of the jury to listen to, and watch. That being said, the jury scrutinized the complex evidence presented to them and a simple sound bite or statement couldn't possibly capture the 8 intense hours of deliberation. Suffice to say that particular attention was given to the timeline of events leading to Aleida's death which proved, without a reasonable doubt, that Jorge Depina was guilty of 2nd-degree murder."

Video evidence at trial revealed that DePina had mercilessly beaten his daughter in the weeks and days leading up to her death. Her autopsy showed the girl's back covered with looping lash marks, likely from a jump rope or severed electrical cords detectives seized from the 48 Knowles St. apartment in Pawtucket he shared with his daughter, a shy girl who’d arrived in the United States in 2011 from her native Cape Verde.

The footage, shot by DePina inside the apartment, captured DePina screaming at and whipping the child, who had painter’s tape wrapped around her head, as he demanded that she eat. At times, he yelled, “Do you want me to kill you?”

In sentencing DePina, Vogel accepted the recommendation of prosecutors Shannon Signore and Alison DeCosta that he receive the maximum term.

"He could have saved her. He could have brought her to the hospital but instead he let her suffer. He continued to beat her," Signore said as David Silva and Donti Rosciti, the detectives who led the case, looked on.

An expert testified at trial that Aleida would likely have survived if DePina had sought prompt medical care. Evidence instead showed a lethargic Aleida stroking her distended stomach, her shirt covered in vomit, in the hours before she was pronounced dead on arrival at Miriam Hospital.

John E. MacDonald, who defended DePina with Lauren Balkcom, asked for leniency.

"This is not the Jorge DePina that we know ... Obviously, your honor, something terribly wrong happened along the way," said MacDonald, who knew the DePina family from handling their immigration case.

DePina, who did not take responsibility in his lengthy statement, cursed Vogel as deputy sheriffs led him from the court.

— kmulvane@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7417

On Twitter: @kmulvane