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Father of murdered 5-year-old can't sue relatives who left her with killer

The father of a murdered 5-year-old Cheektowaga girl has no grounds to sue the great-grandparents who left the girl in the killer's care, a court has ruled.

Isabella Tennant, murdered in Niagara Falls in 2012. (News file photo)

The Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court ruled that a lower court correctly threw out the suit filed by Michael C. Tennant, father of Isabella Tennant, against Sharon R. and Henry C. Lascelle.

Isabella was strangled Aug. 26, 2012, by John R. Freeman Jr., then 16, the boyfriend of the Lascelles' granddaughter. Freeman is serving a life sentence for murder.

Isabella's mother, Crystal Walker, left her in the Lascelles' Niagara Falls home while she went to work. The Lascelles went to bed and left her with Freeman, who had babysat her before. The appellate panel said in its May decision that legal precedents establish that the intentional murder relieved the Lascelles of any allegation of negligence.

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