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Man sentenced to life in prison for murdering Sumter 5-year-old girl and her mother

Daunte Johnson was charged with murder in the 2019 deaths of Sharee Bradley, a former girlfriend, and her daughter Nevaeh Adams.

SUMTER, S.C. — A man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a Sumter five-year-old girl and her mother almost three years ago. 

The judge handed down the penalty Friday not long after a jury convicted Daunte Johnson for the 2019 deaths of Sharee Bradley, a former girlfriend, and her daughter Nevaeh Adams. The panel of men and women took about two hours to return guilty verdicts on all counts.  

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty due to a request from the victim's family.

Earlier in the day, jurors heard closing arguments, after the defense chose not to call any witnesses. Johnson didn't appear Friday after only showing up for part of his trial. He would later appear for his sentencing.

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Third Circuit Solicitor Ernest "Chip" Finney began by walking jurors through what prosecutors say happened the night Bradley and her daughter were killed, alleging Johnson, armed with a large knife, stabbed Bradley 14 times, killed Adams and put the child in the trash.

Then, prosecutors said, Johnson allegedly confessed to it.

"He cleaned the apartment, then he cleaned himself," Solicitor Finney said to the jury. "He got rid of the cell phone. He got rid of the pocketbook. He got rid of his bloody clothes. He cleaned the knife, this is the second time he’s cleaned it.”

Public Defender Elizabeth Neyle said Johnson feared for his life and only had the knife to protect himself from Bradley's children's fathers.

Credit: Provided
Sharee Bradley and Nevaeh Adams

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The defense added that Johnson had no marks on his body and others didn't hear the alleged killings take place.

"How did no one see this? How does Sharee live next door to Mr. Davis and he doesn't hear anything? How Sharee live next door to Patsy and her five children, they share a wall, and they don’t hear anything?," Neyle said to the jury. "I remember when I lived in an apartment. I could hear everything that my next-door neighbors were doing. It doesn’t make sense.”

RELATED: Trial for man accused in death of Sumter mom, 5-year-old Nevaeh Adams begins

Tears fell in the courtroom as Daunte Johnson was found guilty in the 2019 murders of Sharee Bradley and her daughter...

Posted by Kayland Hagwood WLTX on Friday, June 24, 2022

Neyle requested allowing the jury to also consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter for Bradley but the judge denied her request.

As he handed down his sentence, Judge Ferrell Cothran said, "It is no reason to murder anybody, but especially no reason to murder a five-year-old child."

RELATED: Life after Nevaeh: Father of slain 5-year-old begins recovering after tragic loss

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