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Man pleads guilty in death of ex-girlfriend's 2-year-old

Plea agreement gives him 0 to 5 years behind bars

Carly Moore remembered that when she bid her 2-year-old son goodbye as she left for work the last time she saw him alive, Jayden Cangro didn't want her to leave.

"The next time I saw him he was lying on a bed in the hospital," Moore told 3rd District Judge Stephen Henriod Friday. "I am haunted by the memory of holding my dead son wrapped in a blanket in a hospital room. I didn't want to let him go.

"The next time I saw him was in his casket, and he didn't look like himself; there was too much makeup to cover up the massive bruises on his face."

Moore's ex-boyfriend, Phillip Justin Guymon, 30, on Friday pleaded guilty to beating the little boy and smashing him into a wall on July 31, 2006. An autopsy showed the toddler died of head trauma, and a medical examiner said there were bruises on the child's back, buttocks, chest, abdomen and face. He also had several broken ribs.

Guymon had been baby-sitting Jayden and his 6-year-old sister but apparently grew enraged by Jayden's crying and reluctance to go to bed. Guymon told police several different stories about how the boy got hurt.

Guymon was charged with second-degree felony child abuse homicide and pleaded guilty to that charge, but through a complex plea agreement was sentenced for a third-degree felony, which is zero to five years behind bars.

"There's no way you can replace the life of a child," Henriod said. "I'm going to make the strongest possible recommendation I can make (to the board of pardons) that you serve every single day of your sentence."

Guymon made no statement in court other than briefly answering the judge's questions.

But Jayden's mother had a great deal to say.

"Phillip had a bad temper, and he took it out on a beautiful baby boy," Moore said, weeping. "Nothing will ever be enough justice for my sweet little boy."

She said she thinks of her lost child every day and sleeps with half of Jayden's favorite blanket. "The other half was buried with him."

Nanci Thamert, Moore's mother and Jayden's grandmother, glared at Guymon as she recounted the pain her family has endured.

"This shouldn't have happened — you're a monster," she told Guymon, with sorrow and outrage in her voice.

Thamert said Guymon could have taken a deep breath and just walked away if he could not deal with a crying child. He also could have called her or Moore to come and take charge of Jayden and his terrified sister.

"What a big man you are, Phillip," Thamert jeered, peering intently at Guymon, who was staring at the floor. "You aren't looking at me, but I'm looking at you. There's a place in hell for people like you."

Earlier in Henriod's court, another man received two prison terms of up to 15 years each for drug crimes. Thamert said she understood legal complications made a plea bargain the best way to go in Guymon's case, and it did produce a conviction. But to her, Guymon's sentence seems pathetically light for killing a toddler.

"Five years for a death," Thamert said. "I just think kids don't have any rights."