CROWN POINT | A Gary man was sentenced Tuesday to 56 years in prison in the slaying of his 19-month-old daughter after learning the child's mother wanted to move to Texas.
Cordell Richardson, now 25, shot the child in the chest and himself in the head in August 2009 in the parking lot of a downtown Gary restaurant.
Richardson pleaded guilty to murder in September without a plea agreement in place. He faced a maximum 65-year sentence before Tuesday's sentencing hearing.
Testimony during the hearing indicated Richardson was distraught at the time of the shooting over the possibility of the child and her mother moving away.
Richardson repeatedly apologized for his action "to everyone involved" before Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak handed down the sentence.
Stefaniak said indications were the shootings were the culmination of a progression of events. The judge cited the child's age as an overriding aggravating factor in deciding the sentence.