by Julie Montanaro
August 22, 5:50pm
It was an emotional day in court as the family of a two-month-old baby confronted the man accused of killing her. That man was her father, Maning Lott, who is now headed to prison for the next 10 years.
"This was Shalia when she was first born. I believe it was when she was still in the hospital," her grandmother beamed as she sifted through photos outside the courtroom.
Little Shalia was the older twin, always dressed in pink. She came into the world two months early, and Tuesday her grandparents described the pain of losing her only two months later at the hands of Maning Lott.
"I held Shalia while she was on life support for three hours because I wanted her to feel warm again. I wanted to put some warmth back into her little body," said Jeannene Riddle, Shalia's maternal grandmother.
Lott pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child and was promptly sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to court records, Lott claims he was playing with the newborn when he accidentally dropped her. Lott's lawyer insists it was an accident, but the baby's mother and grandparents still wonder.
"Why he didn't react, why he didn't immediately seek help. If he's not telling the truth, what did happen? We may never know. We may go to our graves not knowing," Riddle said.
Lott will spend 10 years in prison, plus five years on probation. The baby's mother told Lott not to try to contact her or their surviving twin daughter when he gets out.