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Aaron PacePhiladelphia, PA - Back in 2010, Jaded reported on 36-year-old Aaron Pace, the man accused of using drain cleaner to kill a crying toddler. On Wednesday, Pace pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and was sentenced to 17.5 to 35 years in prison.

Back in February 2010, police were called to a home where they found 20-month-old Suliaman Orrell Kirkland suffering from chemical burns on the upper part of his body. The boy was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but would die five days later.

The boy’s babysitter, Aaron Pace, admitted he got angry when the toddler became cranky and uncooperative during bath-time, so he grabbed a container of drain-cleaning crystals and then rubbed the caustic substance into the boy’s skin with a rag.

Those who were first on the scene that day, and hospital workers who tried to save the boy’s life, say that Kirkland’s death still effects them to this day.

“In 14 years with the Fire Department, I’ve seen a lot of death and injured children, but this case is the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen,” paramedic Colleen Stankiewicz said. Police Officer Judith Kinniry said she’s haunted by the sight of Kirkland in the emergency room with burns to 20% of his body, stating that the boy’s body was trembling while his skin was sloughing off.

Pace, who was described by his defense attorney as having a low IQ, apologized to the victim’s family. “I just want to say to the family that I’m sorry for what happened,” Pace said. “I never meant this to happen and it hurts me more than anything that he’s gone. I have to take responsibility for this.”

By pleading guilty to third-degree murder, Pace avoids a trial and the possible life sentence he could have gotten if he had been convicted. Some of Pace’s family had to be removed from the courtroom during sentencing after they began swearing and threatening member’s of the victim’s family.

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  • Alex Mocaby

    “Some of Pace’s family had to be removed from the courtroom during
    sentencing after they began swearing and threatening member’s of the
    victim’s family.”

    Something tells me that he might have more problems than just a low IQ.

  • Sam

    How low of an IQ are we talking here? Are we talking retarded? Because even though i love my sister who has Down Syndrome dearly, i would never let her babysit my 3 and 5 year old kids on her own. A lot of the time you will see that people with very low IQ or mentally handicapped need everything according to a very strict schedule – it’s how they make sense of a very complicated world around them. Anything that fucks up their routine (which a 20 month old child is bound to do) sends them over the edge. I have seen my sister completely lose it when dinner was 10 minutes late once. I think i’ll reserve judgement on this guy until i find out more about his mental faculties.

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    Yeah, a family like that goes a long way towards explaining why he thought that punishing a baby for crying and fussing during bathtime with drain cleaner was in any way logical, reasonable, or appropriate.

  • daMonBrooks

    I was thinking the same, I’m always baffled when a perpetrators family, especially one that has admitted to committing the crime, gets belligerent the court room and threaten the VICTIMS family. I think that family’s gene pool needs a little drain cleaner.

  • Sam

    His admission of guilt and his remorse tell me he’s probably the brightest spark in that family…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Silcox-Martin/1460419094 Sarah Silcox Martin

    I’ll pass judgement. I don’t care how low his IQ is. He was smart enough to know drain cleaner would hurt. Maybe he didn’t mean to kill the kid but that child suffered horribly and turnabout is fair play. I would give this monster a drain cleaner enema any day of the week and not feel bad about it. People that hurt/kill/rape kids need to get death sentences. Period.

  • Evan Oswald

    DOUBLE CASTRATION!!

  • sweekymom

    Pace, who was described by his defense attorney as having a low IQ, apologized to the victim’s family. “I just want to say to the family that I’m sorry for what happened,” Pace said. “I never meant this to happen and it hurts me more than anything that he’s gone. I have to take responsibility for this.”

    There it is again: “happened.” Like caustic chemicals just appeared out of thin air and rubbed themselves on the child’s body. “I never meant this to happen…” As if when he was rubbing drain cleaner on the child, he thought it would be soothing, but surprise! the chemical composition of the substance he was using suddenly just up and changed to lethal and caustic right before his very eyes. “…it hurts me more than anything that he’s gone.” Yeah, ’cause it’s all about you, you piece of shit, and how much it hurts you that “he’s gone.” As if he’s just stepped into another room or moved out of state instead of being fucking dead, you worthless bastard. Even the one sentence that he manages to get semi-right has amelioration: “I have to take responsibility for this.” Rather than, I have to take responsibility for murdering an innocent defenseless child.

    When defendants make these kind of weaselly statements of “guilt” the system ought to tack and additional 5 years on, just so they can ponder the correct language for what they have done. “I just want to say to the family that I am sorry for cruelly murdering your child. I committed a gawdawful crime for which I can never properly make amends, and have harmed you beyond the power of time to repair. I take responsibility for murdering your little boy and I will spend the rest of my life doing penance for this horrible crime.” There, dickwad, I fixed that for you.

    Again, my apologies for the rant.

  • M_Celeste

    A 20 month old being uncooperative? Imagine that! And as far as the whole “low IQ” thing goes, I read in a previous article that he “took care not to burn himself”, so I think he had a pretty good idea of what he was doing.

  • Pyncky

    Absolutely fucking perfect. Yours is the comment I made in my head as I read this “apology” but was too lazy this morning to type it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottymac247 Scott McAllister

    so yesterday a guy gets 60 years for robbery and this guy gets less then 20 for killing a little kid what a leagal system this country has

  • xoodloverx

    They should all be at least found in contempt or arrested for harassment. How classless can you be? It’s clear ignorance like that, that makes me think that Hitler was on the right track with the idea of population cleansing. He just made the mistake that a certain race or religion was what it should be based on. It’s clearly just a matter of how ignorant someone is.

  • newstarshipsmell

    Oh God, I hate to admit how appealing that line of reasoning is.

  • Athena

    “Amelioration”? Sexy. You’re welcome to rant any time.

  • newstarshipsmell

    Thank you for spelling out why his apology rang so false to me.

  • OutOfBubbleGum

    “… then rubbed the caustic substance into the boy’s skin with a rag.”

    Funny how someone with a low IQ doesn’t have burns to his hands.

  • midniteshadows

    @Sam -I understand your reasoning. However, I am sure your sister has been taught what is dangerous as far as household cleaning supplies are and that if ingested or placed on the body would cause great harm. With the exception of the profoundly mentally retarded and the dual diagnosed retarded (i.e. drugs or mental health issues) to use a quantifier for someone’s actions is abhorrent. IMO, this man had some intelligence and rational to know that his actions would induce extreme pain in the child. Otherwise, he would have just beaten or drowned the baby instead.

  • midniteshadows

    You go right on ranting and I’ll go right on cheering you. The other thing that always pisses me off no end is when a “quantifier” is tagged on. “He rubbed drain cleaner….but he has a low IQ…” So, his low IQ made him kill the baby. Brilliant. Not only did he kill this baby, but he traumatized a whole boatload of people as well. It’s just not the sight of sloughing skin, but the smell of burnt flesh and knowing there is nothing one can do to make the pain go away that will haunt these people. It’s something I’ve never forgotten.

  • Evangelos

    What?!?! 17 – 35 yrs?! THAT’S IT?!? Ugh… disgusting. Lets hope some other “upstanding” felon takes care of this mess before he’s eligible for parole. You don’t need to be freaking Einstein to know using draino crystals to exfoliate an INFANT is wrong.

  • Sam

    The thing is, it’s not that easy. My sister eg literally is a child in an adult’s body. She doesn’t get that the consequence might be so serious, just like a child doesn’t see the dangers in eg balancing on top of the first floor banister rail. I’m not saying this guy is definitely like that too, but in my sister’s reasoning I can kind of see the “he doesn’t want a bath, I know, I’ll give him a good clean with this stuff – works wonders for the sink”

  • Buffettgirl

    Oh why stop at JUST the drain cleaner – how about a nice volatile cocktail of bleach, drain cleaner and ammonia? Maybe add some dish-washing powder? You know, really clean this shit up? It’s just a thought from the chick that used to own a cleaning company…

  • ultracreep

    http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ucmprd/groups/webcontent/documents/document/p_012760.pdf Here’s the DHS report on the fatality. Says here that Pace raped a 9 year old girl at 17 and also bit a 3 year old in the face previously. Charming.

  • Aussie Sabbath

    Why on earth would the abuser’s family be harassing the victim’s family? That’s a whole new low right there, folks. Are they angry because their loved one is a dumbarse and by their twisted sense of reasoning that it was the victim’s family fault that he went to jail?

  • LeaveMeBe

    So he was a well qualified babysitter. :P

  • M_Celeste

    All those redactions made me feel like I was reading a book of Mad Libs.

  • wastintime

    Fucker never should have been around this little guy!

  • wastintime

    Forced sterilization for the whole family. They don’t need to breed anymore.

  • weneedhelpnow

    I’m so tired of the “low IQ” excuse. I am expected to teach ALGEBRA to these same low IQ people, and then the defense when they commit a crime is they didn’t know right from wrong? I submit that algebra is more difficult to grasp as an abstract than the basic ideal of right and wrong.

  • Stormblast

    He and his family need to be exterminated. The scumbag’s family were threatening the victim’s family after all they had been through? Put them all through the woodchipper and be done with them.

  • Stormblast

    I am wondering if the victim’s parent found this babysitter on Craigslist?

  • Stormblast

    You got that right! Where the fuck did the mom find this cunt, on Craigslist? Never let a scumbag babysit your goddamn child!

  • wastintime

    In a link from the.earlier article that jaded wrote, it says he was the little guys “God father “. I don’t know why the quotations were used, but if the mother knew him well enough to even refer to him as god father, then she damn well knew about his past, and mental

  • sweekymom

    Thanks, y’all. I have ranted on this before, and I hate to be a one-note trumpet, but everytime I read one of these courtroom “apologies” in the newspaper, I always hope to see the judge just call the convicted asshole on the carpet for it. And everytime, I am bitterly disappointed.

  • alphatroll

    While I agree with pretty much all of that, I think it’s important to keep in mind that most likely not one word of that apology was actually composed by the defendant. Either his lawyer or his family is putting words in his mouth.

    Which, really, makes it even more revolting, to me at least.

  • alphatroll

    THIS.

    Obviously property crime sucks, but the legal system needs to get some perspective.

  • alphatroll

    Presumably the guy’s family was aware of his past. If they were aware that he was working as a babysitter and did nothing to stop it, they should all be charged with endangering children.

  • captaingrumpy

    That type all have low IQ , BUT that has not a single thing to do with burning a child to death. Low IQ does not make you a killer , it makes you dumb , but not a killer. Crap as usual from the Lawyers.

  • midniteshadows

    I absolutely agree; it’s not that easy. And I can understand the reasoning behind actions. However, I was responding to this:

    “The boy’s babysitter, Aaron Pace, admitted he got angry when the toddler became cranky and uncooperative during bath-time, so he grabbed a container of drain-cleaning crystals and then rubbed the caustic substance into the boy’s skin with a rag.”

    To me, this doesn’t show “baby doesn’t want a bath, I’ll give him a good clean with this stuff”.

    To me, Aaron Pace’s actions show intent to harm; he was administering punishment to a baby that was fussy during bath time.

    Then to justify his actions, his lawyer offers up the defense of low IQ. This greatly bothers me; the same with offering up mental illness for the Sandy Hook killings. The implication is that the mentally retarded and mentally ill cannot be trusted because they are incapable of knowing right from wrong and/or control their actions. It’s a generalization that targets a specific group and is harmful.

    If Aaron truly did not know right from wrong or that rubbing drain cleaner on a child would cause harm or death because he lacked the ability to understand the consequences of his actions due to having a low IQ, then I would have absolutely no problem defending Aaron or anyone else for that matter. But in this case, I don’t see that.

  • Sam

    Like you, I can see both sides. And I must say, after seeing some other comments e.g about his previous record I am leaning the same way as you. I guess I feel like the mentally disabled / low IQ sufferers deserve an extra careful look, not necessarily a pardon – and I think we’re on the same page there.

  • Minerva

    This should have never been plead down. Based on his past as a child rapist and now a child torturer/murderer he is the scum of the earth. How does this man get a deal while others who kill people who abuse them throughout their life get LWOP or DP? The system is so backwards and applied unevenly.

    This is where I hope inmate justice will take over and he gets exactly what he did to that little innocent boy. Low IQ is not an explanation or an excuse.

  • AnwnofGod

    Thanks everyone for your voices and comments. This is a hard thing for my family to deal with as the grandmother of Suliaman. Everyday I sit and wonder why are we being threatened because Pace decided to do some things and my grandson didn’t let it happen. But one day the total truth will be revealed!!!

  • AnwnofGod

    I agree but he will suffer for killing my grandson!!!

  • AnwnofGod

    When you figure this out of why we have to walk the streets and constantly be harased please let me know!

  • AnwnofGod

    no apologies needed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts for my family!

  • AnwnofGod

    No he was not found on Craiglist he was a neighbor that grew up on the block. We were a family oriented block where we helped each other take care of the kids.

  • AnwnofGod

    My point exactly as his grandmother I’m still hurting that I will never get to hold my grandson again!!!

  • AnwnofGod

    that was made up stuff he wasn’t retarded before this happened to my grandson now all of a sudden. It’s all a lie!

  • AnwnofGod

    there were none! this is made up stuff and the whole story is not here

  • Aussie Sabbath

    Which one are you, the victim’s family or Pace’s family?

  • Aussie Sabbath

    Hang on, I just read that the baby was your family. I’m sorry this idiot got hold of him. Pace must have come from bad stock if his family thought to “get revenge” for him going to jail.

  • driven .

    Very sorry for your pain.. what a devastatingly horrible brutal act upon a innocent defenseless infant. Pace should be rip apart limb by limb. period

  • Angelica correa

    Why was this man alone with the baby in the first place? Where was the mother?? She too should be held responsible for doing such a dumb thing!

  • SMH

    Yes the whole truth will be REVEALED one day… sooner then you blink… IN GOD WE PRAY!