A brawl broke out in court when a heartbroken father took a swing at the man who killed his three-year-old daughter.
Dwayne Smith got up to make a victim impact statement during Clifford Thomas’ sentencing in Detroit on Thursday but yelled and punched him in the head instead.
Court security rushed in to pull the men apart and Smith was hauled away.
Following the punch-up, the courtroom was cleared and the hearing was rescheduled.
Smith’s daughter, Jamilia, was rushed to the hospital in September 2014 by her mother, Jasmine Gordon, and Thomas – the mother’s boyfriend - when she stopped breathing.
The couple claimed she had fallen and hit her head, but authorities said bruises on her head and chest were consistent with abuse.
Gordon was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and first-degree child abuse, while Thomas was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and resisting and obstructing a police officer.
In a later sentencing hearing on Thursday, Gordon was sentenced to 14 to 25 years for child abuse and seven to 15 years for manslaughter.
Thomas was sentenced to four-and-a-half to 15 years for manslaughter and one to two years for resisting police.
The little girl's father was not allowed to return to the court, but a judge decided not to hold him in contempt of court and he was not charged.
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