Baby Chance's dad sentenced to 45 years in prison
SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Today should mark the beginning of closure for baby Chance Walsh’s grandparents, but they say they walk away with even more heartache and a loss that will never be filled.
Joseph Walsh appeared in front of a judge in Sarasota County to make a plea. He was facing first-degree murder and child neglect charges in connection with the death of his son, 9-week-old Chance.
In October of 2015, Chance went missing. His parents Kristen Bury and Joseph Walsh spun a web of lies over what happened to their son; eventually, his body was found in a wooded area of North Port. He had been beaten and left with only a diaper on.
In court Tuesday, Joseph was hidden most of the time by his attorney as he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 45 years.
When Chance's grandparents got the opportunity to speak, they did not hold back.
"I’m a grandmother without grandchildren because of you,” Sally Sussino told Joseph Walsh. “I hope for the next 45 years your dreams are haunted by what you've done and you suffer the same pain you conflicted on my precious grandson Chance."
A heavy sadness filled the courtroom, but there were no tears from Walsh. He showed no emotion and gave no explanation as to why baby Chance was murdered.
"While you sit and rot in prison, I hope you live every day what it feels like to know you stole all of that from us. He could have had such a great life. You stole everything from us, Joe. I hate you for it,” Chance’s other grandmother, Kimberly Millwater, added. “I hope you rot in hell."
Walsh's in-laws said that includes their daughter, Kristen Bury. She took a plea deal to testify against her husband. The deal was for her to spend 25 years in jail, but last September, she committed suicide in the Sarasota County Jail.
Kristen's mother asked everyone to speak up if they believe abuse is happening to any relative. She said this all could have been avoided.
"He's useless in society. It's pure evil. There's no amount of jail time that is going to redeem what he is. I don't think you can fix that," Sussino said.