D'Andre Lane denied abusing and killing his 2-year-old daughter, Bianca Jones, but the Detroit dad still was sentenced to life in prison with no parole Monday.
Lane, 33, told the court before his sentencing that he loved his daughter and all of his children. He said he didn't abuse the children but did discipline them.
"I understand you want to see someone take the fall, but you have yet to bring any evidence forward that says my daughter is dead," Lane said.
Banika Jones, Bianca's mother, supported Lane's innocence.
"There's a murder conviction, and she's not legally dead," Jones said of Bianca, who would've been three in November. "They made a mistake and I intend to correct it."
A Wayne County jury found Lane guilty of murder and first-degree child abuse in October in the disappearance of his daughter; the case remains unsolved.
Judge Vonda Evans also sentenced Lane to 11-30 years for first-degree child abuse, saying he used manipulation, mental abuse and discipline to control others.
"You beat and verbally abused her to others and you destroyed her mentally," Evans said.
"Physically you took her around and treated her body like a rag doll, putting her in a car without food and diapers and lied about a car-jacking in a city plagued with violence."
Evans said Lane lied about the car-jacking because he underestimated the attention it would get. Police and about 1,100 residents conducted a week-long search for the child.
At 9:45 p.m. December 2, 2011, Lane called 911 and told dispatchers he was carjacked by two men in the area of East Grand Boulevard and Brush Street in Detriot.
He said the alleged assailants drove away with his daughter, who was strapped in a car seat.
The Mercury Grand Marquis that Lane was driving was found blocks away, with the engine running and the doors open. The car seat was there, but Bianca was gone.
"Now you will face what you tried to escape with your life," Evans told Lane, who was taken out of the courtroom after the sentencing and called Evans a liar.