NORWICH – A Norwich man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges spoke out on Friday morning, addressing the victim and her family, discussing the impact of drugs on an individual's lives, and declaring that he had failed as a dad.
Devan Ellsworth, 28, of Norwich pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, after recklessly causing the death of his one-year-old daughter, Delaney Ellsworth.
According his indictment, the victim was struck on her face by her father, on August 26, 2018, in their apartment at 58 Henry Street in Norwich.
City of Norwich police later confirmed the child died while receiving medical treatment at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
Throughout his sentencing, multiple people including District Attorney Michael Ferrarese, Ellsworth, and the victim's mother Bonnie Dalton spoke on the death of Delany.
"I never thought I'd have to stand in a courtroom for something like this," said Dalton. "He decided getting high was more important than his daughter, and now I've lost a daughter––there's no way to come back from here."
She said Ellsworth has ruined her family's lives, and that because of the ongoing court proceedings she hasn't had a chance to grieve.
When Ellsworth had the opportunity to speak, he apologized to Dalton and her family for what had happened, and said he only wanted the best for his children.
"None of this was intentional," said Ellsworth. "If I hadn't started using drugs again my daughter would still be alive today."
He said he had nothing but love for his daughter, and would trade his life for her's if given the opportunity.
"To Delany, I wanted to keep you safe from the world," said Ellsworth. "I miss you every second of every day."
He said he owed his children a better legacy than what he's accomplished so far, and that drugs shouldn't be more important than children.
"Our children are worth more than the next hit," said Ellsworth. "...but our children don't know that because of our actions."
Ferrarese spoke on Delany's death as well and said only Ellsworth knows exactly what happened to cause the death of his daughter...