Thursday marked the final chapter in a gruesome case of child abuse that rocked Philadelphia after Danieal Kelly was found dead. A slew of adults blamed for the death of the disabled 14-year-old have already been sentenced, including her mother. Now, a judge has sentenced the girl’s father, Daniel Kelly, and two social workers to two and a half to five years in prison.
Danieal was covered in bed sores when she died of starvation in 2006. She weighed just 42 pounds.
Prosecutors pinned the blame on her parents and the social workers responsible for her care.
Lawyer Josh Scarpello represented social service agency manager Mikal Kamuvaka.
“It’s a horrible case where a lot of people failed Danieal and it was tough to find sympathy for any of the people involved so I can understand both the jury’s verdict and his reasoning in giving that sentence that he did,” Scarpello said.
Many friends and family testified for the social worker who was sentenced — noting his kindness and good character. No one testified for the deceased girl.
The prosecution pointed out that, as in life, no adults were there to speak up on behalf of Danieal.
“We actually looked back in the courtroom at the very beginning and saw all of these people in the courtroom and just thought to ourselves usually in a homicide case when we do sentencing we have family there,” said acting First Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann. “She didn’t have a family that cared for her, so we were her voice. And that was troubling obviously, that so many people let her down.”
The case highlighted widespread problems in the city’s Department of Human Services and led to major reforms.