Boettger sentenced to nine years in prison for killing four-year-old
A Kitchener man found guilty of killing a four-year-old girl was sentenced to nine years in prison, less 22 months for time already served, in a Kitchener court Friday.
Facing charges of murder, Robert Boettger pled guilty to manslaughter in September.
In February 2011, Boettger slapped and spanked four-year-old Rayna Gagne because the girl wouldn’t go to bed. Gagne then stumbled, fell and died of head trauma two days later.
At the time, Boettger was in a relationship with Jenn Taylor, Gagne's mother. He was babysitting Gagne at Taylor's home in Cambridge while Taylor was at work.
Speaking after the sentencing, Taylor said she was displeased with the result.
"It wasn't enough. My daughter's life is worth more than nine years -- a lot more than nine years," she said.
"I know it will never bring her back, but nine years isn't right."
Given an opportunity to address the court, Boettger apologized for his actions and said he could never forgive himself for what happened.
Taylor's friends and family say they're unlikely to forgive Boettger either.
"It was Jenn's child that he took away. She only got to live for four years, and he gets to continue his life forever," said friend Reyna Ercegovich.
Boettger called the incident a "terrible accident", a phrase which earned him admonishment from the judge and from friends of Taylor's like Tracy Houtsma, who was Gagne's godmother.
"It wasn't an accident. He might have felt that way after it was done, but I don't believe it was an accident," said Houtsma.
"You don't hit a child twice."