GOLDEN-A Lakewood man cried before a judge, claiming he was remorseful for killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old little girl after he "lost self-control."
"I accept full responsibility for the situation I created myself," a tearful Keith Ruiz said.
Ruiz pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death as part of a plea deal.
9NEWS covered the death of Dolci Gryshayeva in September of 2011, when she was found unconscious in her Lakewood home. The little girl was also profiled in the 9NEWS/Denver Post "Failed to Death" investigation.
Ruiz, 26, admits he body-slammed Gryshayeva in frustration at their Lakewood home because she wouldn't stop crying.
In an extraordinarily packed courtroom, the tearful Gryshayeva and Ruiz families sat apart as several family members spoke before the judge.
"My son probably has more trophies than anybody else in this courtroom," said Joseph Ruiz, the convict's father, speaking of his son's past accomplishments.
Ruiz's father-in-law told the court Ruiz found God, has changed and is remorseful.
Prosecutors played jailhouse phone calls made by Ruiz last month in an effort to show he "lacked complete remorse."
In one of those phone calls, Ruiz could be heard talking with a family member as he expressed worry he wouldn't sound remorseful during sentencing.
The Ruiz family wrote letters to the judge, saying he served in the military.
Prosecutors revealed in court Ruiz was discharged from the military for skipping out on required training and that Ruiz never served overseas.
Mother Anastasiya Gryshayeva wept heavily in court as she described living with the loss of her daughter.
"I never thought I'd be here describing the loss of my daughter," she cried.
Dolci's grandfather, John Alarid, was told by the judge to hold back some of his angry words because they were a too inflammatory. In the hallway, Alarid told 9NEWS "Now he has to go live in the devil's playground, and now he's gonna have to go live in fear like my little grand-daughter."
Judge Christopher Zenisek concluded Ruiz showed "some acceptance of responsibility, but it is not full."
An unidentified family member asked the reporter of this article "not to paint [RUIZ] as a monster like everybody else does," but then declined an interview.
Gryshayeva's mother said in court her daughter's heart has been donated through an organ donation program. Dolci would have turned 4 years old in May.
Have a comment or tip for investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola? Call him at 303-871-1425 or e-mail him
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