DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A jury found Jesse York guilty on all six counts in the death of 22-month-old Rylee Sellars.
The decision came more than three years after York was first taken into custody.
Sellars died in 2013 in Germantown from blunt force trauma to the head.
The state told jurors that York spent three hours alone with the toddler, before she was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where she died.
Jesse York’s mother refuses to accept his conviction and is already working on getting an appeal.
“I regret it so much that I let the attorney talk me into not getting on the stand,” Janet York said in disbelief that her son is a convicted killer and upset she didn’t do more when his fate was in the hands of jurors.
“He’s never been violent, he doesn’t like violence,” she said.
She spoke with him over the phone Wednesday morning, hours after the verdicts came in.
“He doesn’t believe it happened and says the way the prosecution presented it all he was prepared for the possibility of being found guilty,” York said.
His mother says he’s denied it from the beginning and that the little girl was ill and had pre-existing head injuries.
“After he was arrested he said, Mom. Know that I didn’t do this. I will not take a plea bargain. If I go to jail for the rest of my life, if they convict me. Know that I didn’t do this. If I go to prison for the rest of my life, I’ll see you in heaven, mom,” York said.
It’s a story, Rylee’s family never bought.
Minutes after York was found guilty 2NEWS spoke with Billie Smith, Rylee’s aunt.
“The verdict of guilty is great for our family and we’re excited about it but it can’t bring Rylee back. You know we obviously wish this tragedy wouldn’t have happened. We wish our girl was with us. But we are happy with the guilty verdict. We feel like justice has been and will continue to be served,” Smith said.
“I just want everybody to know that I loved Rylee Sellars, too. I’m crushed. It destroyed me and now it’s even worse,” York said.
Rylee’s family is having a benefit to raise Child Abuse awareness next month in Franklin.
Jesse York will be sentenced March 28th.