Samiah Downing’s killers, Ronald Greer and his girlfriend Bianca Stanch, were finally sentenced to 32 years in prison this week after being found guilty in October.
Samiah, Greer’s daughter, had been routinely beaten, tortured, and forced into dehydration before the time of her death in 2012. According to witnesses, Stanch was behind most of the beatings because she had “an extreme dislike” and hatred for her boyfriend’s four-year-old daughter.
Prosecutors stated that Greer never intervened to stop Stanch from hurting Samiah. Instead, he helped to deprive her of water as a means of punishment.
“Witnesses also testified that Stanch and Greer duct-taped Samiah’s wrists and ankles together on multiple occasions and left her overnight so that she could not get out to get water,” prosectors revealed.
Greer and Stanch also locked Samiah in a bedroom and locked the door with a deadbolt so that she couldn’t get out during the day or night. Prosecutors reported that Samiah was beaten and forced to stand in a corner for eight hours on the day before her death. The next day, Stanch tortured the child with a belt and cords.
“Stanch then poured a pot of boiling water on Samiah’s back and chest. Samiah was also denied water to drink during these final days of her life,” prosecutors said.
Samiah was “lethargic” and “sleepy” on the night that she died. She was locked in a bedroom while Stanch’s cousin, Rayshawn Stanch, came over over while the couple went out for dinner. Samiah was dead when they returned home.
Stanch, Greer, and Rayshawn drove out to the desert and buried Samiah. When her body was found and an autopsy was conducted, it was discovered that Samiah’s body weight had dropped from the 50th percentile to the fifth percentile in just six months.
After the couple were arrested and put on trial, Greer claimed that he had no knowledge of what was happening to his daughter.
“Friends, family members, and teachers testified about the sweet and happy little girl they knew and loved. Greer took the stand in his own defense and denied being aware of the abuse his daughter had endured,” the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “Several inconsistencies emerged during cross-examination on the events of 2012 and what Greer knew about how Samiah was being treated.”
Finally, on October 6, 2020, Stanch and Greer were found guilty of child abuse and first-degree murder. Rayshawn also pled guilty to his involvement in Samiah’s death earlier this year.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office urges anyone who may be aware of potential incidences of child abuse to call 911.