MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County judge sentenced Sherman Liddell on Wednesday, April 5th to 10 years in prison and another eight years of extended supervision in connection with the hit-and-run death of a five-year-old girl. On a second count, Liddell was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of extended supervision -- but that count is being served concurrently, so there's no extra time. He must also pay $2,900 in restitution to the victim's family.
Liddell entered guilty pleas to charges of hit-and-run involving death and knowingly operating while suspended (cause death) in February.
"The pain that this man caused on my family has been etched in our lives forever," Lechelle Yarbrought, Rickyia's mother, told the court on Wednesday. "I would feel differently had he just came around the block and checked on her and said, 'Is she OK?'"
Five-year-old Rickyia Langham was struck by an SUV and killed on November 6, 2016 as she was walking hand-in-hand with her mother near Leon and Constance in Milwaukee. The two were walking to a car to head to church. The young girl broke away from her mother and ran into the street. When her mother turned around, an SUV struck her daughter, who died at the scene.
The SUV did not stop.
The complaint against Liddell also said video recovered from a nearby grocery store led the police to suspect that the striking vehicle was a Porsche Cayenne. The SUV was reported stolen a couple of hours after the fatal crash.
Prosecutors say Liddell told his girlfriend to report the SUV, which belonged to her, as stolen.
"That means not only is he trying to distance himself from the wrongdoing by leaving the scene, but he's insulating himself; buying an insurance policy against being discovered here," said Karl Hayes, prosecuting attorney.
A criminal complaint indicates a review of Liddell’s driving record showed his “license was suspended” with “seven prior convictions for driving on a suspended license.”
The defense did not deny Liddell's actions were wrong. But they argued he showed remorse by pleading guilty to the charges against him.
"I'm sorry for what has happened to the little girl," Liddell told the court before his sentence was handed down.
Again, the judge sentenced Liddell to 10 years in prison, ruling his behavior shows a pattern of disregard for the law.
"Mr. Liddell doesn't take responsibility for anything and tries to get away with whatever he can," said Judge Jeffrey Conen.
Following the sentencing, a pastor speaking on behalf of the victim's family said there were no winners in this case.