Rosalie Joseph closed her eyes Tuesday as the man convicted of killing her 16-year-old daughter, the man Joseph shared her life with for a decade, apologized and said he had no idea what happened the day Alexandria Chery died.
“I can understand her pain,” Sanel Saint-Simon said through a Haitian-Creole translator Tuesday. “The pain is mine as well. She was my daughter as well. I regret what happened. I will say again that I don’t know what happened, I don’t know. I don’t know where my daughter is, I don’t know. And my mind is wondering, wondering.”
Circuit Judge John Marshall Kest sentenced Saint-Simon Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Joseph did not speak at Tuesday’s hearing.
“I wish that she will be able to find comfort,” Saint-Simon said, referring to Joseph. “I will help her carry the burden, the pain. And I still love her. My feelings are still very strong for her.”
Outside the courthouse, Assistant State Attorney Ryan Williams said he was not impressed by Saint-Simon’s apology.
“Sanel Saint-Simon has never told the truth,” he said.
Saint-Simon was sentenced 3 years, 10 months, and 15 days after Alexandria, an Olympia High School student on her summer vacation, disappeared from her bedroom.
Alexandria’s mother reported her missing July 28, 2014. Her body was found near the Osceola-Polk county line a few days later with stab wounds found and skull fractures, and Saint-Simon, already in custody for lying to deputies investigating a missing child’s case, was ultimately charged with first-degree murder.
Earlier this year a jury convicted him of murder, child abuse, and lying to investigators, but decided to recommend a sentence of life in prison instead of the death penalty.
Joseph huddled with prosecutors after leaving the courtroom, hugging them and saying thank you.
“Thank you God, thank you Jesus,” she said. “God is working.”
SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel – Gal Tziperman Lotan