St. Cloud man at sentencing hearing: I figured I lost everything

By Bailey Myers, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017, 6:15 PM EDT

The sentencing phase will continue Tuesday morning for the St. Cloud man found guilty last week of killing his son.

A jury now has to decide whether or not he should be put to death for the murder. 

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Larry Perry, who was convicted of murdering 3-month-old Ayden.

In 2013, Perry told police he “lost it” when his son continued to cry. The medical examiners office testified Monday that Ayden was thrown against a wall, his neck was wrung and his head was kicked in before he died.

During opening statements, jurors once again saw baby Ayden's beaten and bruised face. While the focus was on Ayden's death, we also heard more about his life.

Monday, Ayden's aunt, Michelle Barnes, took the stand, calling Ayden's first 83 days of life a wonderful experience.

“It was a very happy time for us and very happy time to have a baby,” Barnes testified.

Barnes’s sister, Cathy, is Ayden's mother. At the time of her son’s death, she was imprisoned for a drug charge.

On Monday, Perry claimed he felt overwhelmed being left to care for the child on his own and snapped when he beat Ayden to death.

 “I lost it, man. I figured I lost everything. I didn’t think I was going to see Cathy ever again. I didn’t think he was ever going to see his mom again. I just thought it was the end,” Perry testified.

As the medical examiner for Osceola County talked more about Ayden’s injuries, Perry kept his head in his hands, refusing to look at the photos of his dead son.

When asked how he killed Ayden, Perry claimed he didn’t remember the beating, the 911 call he made thereafter, the police interview he agreed to or the reenactment of his son's killing he demonstrated for police back in 2013.

Psychologists were brought in to testify on Perry’s behalf Monday. They said Perry has a very low IQ, which may have impacted his decision-making abilities at the time he was caring for his son.

Although Parry testified that he doesn’t remember anything about the beating, he does remember feeling overwhelmed, claiming he asked for help from his girlfriend’s family.

They say it's a plea they never got, but wish they had because Ayden meant so much to them.