Calif. couple sentenced for torturing, murdering 4-year-old daughter

Samiah Downing died in 2012 after daily beatings, torture and dehydration under the care of Ronald Greer and Bianca Stanch.

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Nearly 10 years after the death of a four-year-old child, her father and his girlfriend have been sentenced to 32 years in prison for killing her.

Samiah Downing died in 2012 after daily beatings, torture and dehydration under the care of Ronald Greer and Bianca Stanch. The San Bernardino County Prosecuting Deputy District Attorney’s office detailed the crimes against her in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday.

Ronald Greer (left) and Bianca Stanch were sentenced to 32 tears in prison for the death of Greer’s four-year-old daughter in 2012 after her daily beatings, torture and dehydration. (San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office)

“Stanch hated her boyfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, Samiah Downing. With the help of her boyfriend, Ronald Greer, they beat and tortured Samiah until her death,” they wrote. “With a team of dedicated and determined prosecutors, victim advocates, and professional staff pursuing justice for Samiah, Stanch and her boyfriend were found guilty by a jury for this heinous crime.”

The couple was convicted last October of first-degree murder, as well torture and child abuse, with a special allegation of causing death.

Samiah Downing, Greer’s daughter, the murder victim. (San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office)

In the Facebook post, the D.A.’s office wrote witnesses testified that Downing was subjected to beatings every day by Stanch, and her father did not intervene to stop them. They further detail how the adults frequently withheld water from the little girl and often locked her in a bedroom with her hands and feet bound with duct tape.

Evidence at trial showed Downing was beaten and forced to stand in the corner for eight hours on the day before her death. The next day, the toddler was beaten again, burned with hot water and denied water to drink. That night, she became lethargic, was left in the care of Stanch’s cousin and locked in a bedroom, then died by the time the couple returned.

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Greer and Stanch buried her in a shallow grave in the California desert.

Regarding the passage of nearly a decade between her death and a conviction, officials wrote, “this case encountered several delays in going forward throughout the years. However, the deputy district attorneys assigned to getting justice for Samiah stayed committed to the case and did not waiver in any manner.”

“Unfortunately, because of the actions of her father and his girlfriend, Samiah wasn’t here to tell her own story to the jurors,” said Justin Crocker, the prosecuting deputy district attorney in this case. “Thankfully, the evidence at trial told the tragic story for her. Samiah was betrayed by the people closest to her and they have now been held accountable for that betrayal.”

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Stanch’s cousin, Rayshawn Stanch, pled guilty earlier this year for his involvement in disposing of Downing’s body.

The San Bernardino County prosecutor’s office ended the post by reminding readers that they can potentially save the life of an abused child. In Downing’s case, there were multiple witnesses to the treatment that led to the end of her life.

Additionally, officials wrote, “If you are a parent or a guardian of a child and are experiencing frustration, anger or helplessness, please reach out for help. There are plenty of resources available which will help you while keeping your child safe from verbal, psychological and physical abuse.”

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