The Westchester father found guilty of murdering his 7-year-old daughter may spend the rest of his life in prison.
Neil White, 50, was sentenced to a term of 25 years to life in prison following his sentencing in Westchester County Court on Thursday, Oct. 3.
White, who was convicted of second-degree murder for the 2017 murder, reportedly sought to adjourn his trial, but was denied by the judge.
Holding her daughter’s favorite rag doll, Michelle Hord, Gabrielle's mother, described the two years since her child’s murder as “a razor-blade cut of trauma, memory, pain, confusion, betrayal and disbelief.” She said she, her daughter and White were all asthmatics and added that “Asthmatics know the terror of not being able to easily inhale and exhale…and yet… Gabrielle’s daddy willfully and evilly chose to take that away from a baby who he once seemed to love and a daughter who he ultimately used as a pawn….My heart and soul have literally been ripped from the body by this man.”
Deputy District Attorney Timothy Ward asked the court for the maximum sentence, which the judge granted.
“Once again, our hearts go out to the family of Gabrielle White, who will always mourn the loss of this little girl, especially her mother who spoke today of her profound loss," Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., said. "Domestic violence is insidious. How a parent can take out his anger and disappointment in life by killing his child is incomprehensible. Neil White will have a long time in prison to think about what he has done. Justice was served.”
At approximately 3:20 p.m. on June 6, 2017, police received an emergency call from 3 Arbor Glen in New Rochelle when Gabrielle’s babysitter went to the home to check on the girl following an uneasy text message exchange with White, New Rochelle Police Capt. Robert Gazzola said following the girl’s death. Upon arrival at the scene, the babysitter found White bleeding with wounds to his wrists and Gabrielle in her bed, prompting her to call the police.
Paramedics said that Gabrielle was unresponsive, lying in bed when they arrived. White was taken to Montefiore Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. He was later taken into custody and was arraigned in New Rochelle City Court on murder charges.
An autopsy performed by the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office determined that the cause of death was asphyxia by suffocation.
On Monday, June 17, Michelle Hord was in court to describe the day her daughter died and other incidents involving her and White.
According to reports, Hord testified that there had been multiple calls to police in the month’s leading up to Gabrielle’s death, as the two went through divorce proceedings. Hord eventually moved out to a separate New Rochelle home and White allegedly threw an iced coffee in her face when the two met in public to discuss the divorce.
On the day of Gabrielle’s death, Hord reportedly sent her daughter a message telling her she loved her hours before she was found dead.
White and Hord-White had shared custody of Gabrielle, and at the time of the 7-year-old’s death, they resided in separate homes. Police said that Hord-White was at work at the time of the incident and that Gabrielle did not attend school as regularly scheduled on the day of her death.
“This hurts our community, and it hurts us all deeply as it relates to children,” Gazzola said at the time of White’s arrest. The entire New Rochelle community is saddened by this event and asks that everyone respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
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