|Keagan Davis. (Facebook Photo)
OSHAWA, Ont. - Emotions ran high and tempers flared in a packed courtroom Wednesday as Michael Monckton was convicted of killing his former girlfriend's son, two-year-old Keagan Davis.
Monckton, 28, who maintained his innocence throughout the four-week trial, was found guilty of second-degree murder and assault causing bodily harm in the tot's Jan. 5, 2010 death.
The murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence with a term of parole eligibility -- ranging from 10 years to 25 years -- to be determined Jan. 18.
Some of Monckton's family burst into tears as jurors returned with their verdict after deliberating for three days.
Simultaneously, a collective sigh of relief was heard from Keagan's separated parents, their families, friends and others in attendance.
"He was only two years old, he didn't even get to be a kid," a choked up Dan Davis, 31, the boy's father, said outside court.
He only recently learned of the many injuries his son endured near the end of his brief life -- a broken forearm, two broken fingers, seven broken ribs and compressed vertebrae.
And while the guilty verdict serves as "justice for Keagan," Davis said he has a lot of unanswered questions.
"But I'm never, ever going to find out the answers because the only one who can tell me what happened is my son and he's dead," he said.
Monckton, who was found not guilty of aggravated assault, appeared stunned by the verdict.
He didn't speak during the trial but he directed a few words toward Keagan's mom, Leigh-Ann Worrall, as he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.
"I'm sorry I can't give Keagan back," Monckton said. "But I didn't take him away from you, you know that."
During the trial, defence lawyer Ray Boggs claimed the Crown's case was all "smoke and mirrors" and didn't call any witnesses.
While Crown attorney Paul Murray demonstrated clearly that Keagan was badly abused, he had only circumstantial evidence to prove Monckton was responsible for the boy's horrific injuries -- some fresh, others healing or healed.
The Crown's expert witnesses acknowledged some of the injuries could have been inflicted long before Monckton began dating Worrall.
But that didn't deter the jury.
"Keagan's injuries were not circumstantial," Murray said afterward, adding the tot was "ultimately beaten to death."
"This case was always about Keagan," he said. "That poor boy did not deserve (to die)."
While Murray was pleased with the verdict, he pointed out "there are no winners" in this case.
Monckton's brother was outside shaking with anger over the verdict and other family members had to lead him away from the court.
"It's a sad day for my family and for Keagan," said Nicole Monckton, the convicted man's sister. "There was no justice for anyone today."