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Man gets 20-40 years in baby death

Published August 12. 2017 09:00AM

Little Kannah Dew lived in a cold, filthy, dilapidated, bug-infested trailer on Duke Street in Walnutport until she was beaten to death by her mother's boyfriend on Feb. 24, 2014.

Now, her killer, for at least the next 20 years, will live in a prison cell.

Gary Foley Jr., 33, who pleaded guilty in June to third-degree murder, was sentenced to 20 to 40 years by Northampton County President Judge Stephen Baratta.

Before sentencing, The Associated Press reports Foley told a probation officer and a psychologist he was overwhelmed by the horrible living conditions at his trailer home where he was living at the time. Foley said he slammed the baby into the ground after she wouldn't stop crying.

Baratta noted that Foley did not apologize for causing the death of Kannah. He added that Foley was casting himself as the victim and wasn't showing remorse.

"What mercy did he display that day that would make me want to give him some mercy today?" Baratta asked.

Foley was charged by Lehigh Township police with criminal homicide and four counts of endangering the welfare of children.

Kannah Dew was 17 months old when Foley killed her.

The toddler's mother, Heather M. Surget, 28, had gone to work at a fast-food restaurant between 4 and 5 p.m., leaving Foley in charge of Kannah Dew, Kannah's 3-year-old and 2-month-old sisters, and his own 4-year-old son.

About a week before Kannah was killed, Surget had asked Foley, whom she had met online, to move in with her.

Foley called 911 at about 7:30 p.m., he told dispatchers he had fed Kannah a piece of hot dog, then put her on the floor to change her diaper and she choked, according to court documents.

"There's something wrong with my baby," he told the dispatcher, adding there was "foamy stuff" coming from her nose.

Foley initially told police Kannah Dew had choked on a hot dog. But an autopsy revealed a fractured skull, cerebral hemorrhage and blunt force trauma.

Foley was represented by a court appointed private attorney, Matthew J. Deschler of Bethlehem.

Northampton County Assistant District Attorney Tatum R. Wilson prosecuted the case.

Surget, 28, on Sept. 23 pleaded guilty before Barratta to four of five counts of child endangerment charges after agreeing to testify against Foley.

She was sentenced to time served to five years, followed by five years of probation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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