Melvin Edwards, 15, could spend most of his life in prison for raping a 7-year-old neighbor girl.
Edwards was just 14 when he took the little girl into the woods near their Puyallup apartment complex, raped her then strangled her, leaving her for dead. She was found barely conscious during a search of the area by police and neighbors.
The mother of that little girl came to watch a judge sentence Edwards to 13 years to life for rape and kidnapping.
“I know he understood what he did because he tried to cover it up by killing her, so she wouldn’t tell anybody what he did.”
Edwards took the girl into a wooded area near the apartment complex where they both lived on July 10, 2013. He raped the girl and choked her until she passed out. Neighbors and police searched for her after she was reported missing. Edwards even helped with the search.
The girl was found barely conscious in the woods after someone spotted her shoe and guided police to the spot Edwards left her for dead. The girl survived but Johnson said she’s having a hard time emotionally since the incident.
During Edwards' sentencing mother Carmella Johnson told a judge she wanted to ask him why he did it, but added that he probably doesn’t know the answer himself.
“What could a 7-year old do to make him that angry?" Johnson said. “Why my daughter?”
Edwards was charged as an adult with rape and kidnapping. He was charged as a juvenile with one count of attempted murder and pleaded guilty in both adult and juvenile court. He will first serve six years in juvenile detention on the attempted murder charge then be transferred to an adult prison to serve his sentence on the rape and kidnapping charges.
Before he was taken away Edwards’ mother spoke to Johnson and her family apologizing for what her son had done.
“I’m sure there’s nothing I can ever say to get you to forgive me or my son. I’m so sorry.”