Hayden Vickers died last February after doctors said he suffered severe head trauma. His mother's then-boyfriend, Franklin Ramey Jr., was arrested in connection with the boy's death last year. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday.
"There's an emptiness that takes place. You never fill that spot that belonged to Hayden," said Vivian Wilkes, Hayden's great-grandmother.
Wilkes said the past year has been a difficult one for her family.
"What could we have done different? All of us have questioned ourselves," she said.
A jury could not reach a verdict in Ramey's first trial last November, but he pleaded guilty to the charge last week.
"It's really a relief that we don't have to face the court again. Going through the trial, it's very long and drawn out," Wilkes said.
Wilkes said she hopes both her family and Ramey's can finally find closure.
"I pray for Frank. I'm sure that in that moment of anger or whatever he struck out with, I'm sure he's regretted it a million times," she said.
Ramey has been in the Taylor County Jail since he was arrested on the murder charge last year. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice determined he was not eligible to be released because he was already on parole for a previous burglary charge.