Detroit father D’Andre Lane was sentenced to mandatory life in prison without chance for parole on Monday, following his conviction in the death and disappearance of his 2-year-old daughter. Lane reported his daughter Bianca Jones missing on Dec. 2, 2011, claiming that he had been carjacked at gunpoint with Bianca still in the car. The case prompted a city wide search for the child before charges were brought back to Lane.
Prosecutors painted a scenario of an abusive father, claiming Lane, while punishing Bianca with a tape-wrapped stick for a bed-wetting incident, beat his daughter to death and drove her around in his vehicle beneath a blanket before disposing of the body the following day.
“You have yet to bring any evidence forth that says my daughter is dead,” Lane said during his sentencing. “You have yet to bring any evidence forth that says I abused my child. Discipline, yes, I discipline all my children… because as a man in this city in this time that we live in, you have to raise your children.
“I did not murder my child, I did not abuse my child,” Lane said. “My child is alive.”
Vonda Evans, the Wayne County Circuit Judge overseeing the case, challenged Lane’s claims of innocence during the hearing. “You controlled her dead body like a rag doll. … You figured that a city plagued with violence, understaffed by police — who would care? But you were wrong,” she said.
After receiving his sentence, Lane was ejected from court for saying that the case was based on lies. As court officers escorted him out, he addressed the judge by her first name, telling her: “Vonda, you’re a liar.”
Bianca’s mother Banika Jones has supported Lane throughout the trial. Outside the court house she told reporters that she believed her daughter was in fact alive.
Lane has 42 days to appeal the decision.