By Dave Andrusko
Earlier this week, a Tampa jury sentenced Richard McTear Jr. to life in prison without chance of parole for the murder of a 3-month-old baby whom McTear threw out the window of a car onto the side of a highway.
Last week the jury found guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping, battery, aggravated child abuse and burglary. The jury had the option of the death penalty when it began the penalty phase of the murder trial.
Prosecutors characterized the murder, which followed a brutal beating of Jasmine Bedwell, the baby’s mother and McTear’s ex-girlfriend, as “the ultimate act of revenge.” McTear was not the baby’s father.
Back in 2009 Bedwell was 17-years-old, herself in foster care, and the mother of thee-month-old Emanuel Murray Jr. McTear had a long criminal record, including violence toward women, a pattern he repeated with Bedwell. (According to the Tampa Bay Times, Bedwell had sought a restraining order.)
In May 2009 McTear pounced on Bedwell and after assaulting her he turned his attention to the baby who was still in the car seat. After McTear threw the infant across the room, Bedwell made an unsuccessful dash with her son for freedom.
She then ran to a friend’s house to call 9-11. When she returned her son was gone. Police were about to issue an Amber Alert when Emanuel’s body was found.
Off-duty TV cameraman Jason Bird, who was on his way to work for a local station, told the Tampa Bay Times.”’Just out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw some trash on the side of the road. But the more I thought about it, I saw eyes. It flipped me out, and I started shaking and said, ‘It’s a doll, a baby doll.’”
McTear had thrown the baby out on the side of Interstate 275.
James Rush and Ryan Gorman, writing for the Daily Mail, reported
“A huge manhunt was launched for McTear who had previous convictions for domestic violence and other violent crimes.
“He was found hiding at a friend’s house several hours after the incident and was arrested by police.”