District Attorney Charles Hynes charged Damon Adams and Cereece Bell of the city’s Administration of Children’s Services with criminally negligent homicide on March 23 for falsifying documents to show visits to victim’s home to check on her status had taken place, when, in fact, no one from the city ever showed up at the house.
Marchella Brett-Pierce, who was born with a medical condition that required her to use feeding and breathing tubes, died on Sept. 2, 2010 after days of torture at the hands of her mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, who is currently facing life in prison for killing her child.
Police say Carlotta tied her daughter to a bed inside their apartment and battered her with household items. She also deprived her of food and water.
When Marchella died, she weighed just 18 pounds, prosecutors said. Responding officers found marks on her wrists and ankles, a sign that she had been bound by cords.
Carlotta was charged with murder after an autopsy showed Marchella died of “child abuse syndrome.”
Yet Hynes believes that the city could have intervened and saved the child, if the Administration of Children’s Services hadn’t dropped the ball.
His investigation revealed that Adams, the caseworker monitoring the Brett-Pierce case, and Bell, his supervisor, hadn’t checked on Marchella’s progress in the three months leading up to her death. After the girl died, the two allegedly post-dated reports to make it appear that they had visited the Brett-Pierce home on a regular basis.
But Bell made one costly error: all of the mocked-up progress reports were entered into the computer after Marchella died.
Hynes claims that the neglect of both Administration of Children’s Services employees, who have since resigned from the agency, played a factor in Marchella’s death.
“Baby Marchella might be alive today, had these ACS workers attended to her case with the basic levels of care it deserved,” Hynes said.
Bell’s attorney, Joshua Horowitz, said his client shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of a “substandard worker,” while Adams’s counsel, Wayne Bodden, said that Bell told Adams to doctor the records. Both were arraigned on criminally negligent homicide charges.
As if killing a cop wasn’t enough…
The man accused of killing a Brooklyn Heights cop after tossing him off the stoop of his Boerum Hill home earlier this month found himself in more trouble on March 25 when he was charged with repeatedly beating his ex-girlfriend — the crime that sparked his March 13 showdown with Police Officer Alain Schaberger.
Hynes has charged 42-year-old George Villanueva with assault, criminal contempt and stalking — crimes that will be added to the murder rap he’s currently facing.
Prosecutors say the new crimes stem from seven separate incidents when Villanueva repeatedly violated an order of protection demanding he stay away from his former love Kim Dykstra. He’s also been accused of stalking Dykstra, threatening to kill his former girlfriend, and leaving her with a deep cut to her mouth that needed 10 stitches after he slapped her in the face.
Police Officer Alain Schaberger died during one of the most recent acts of domestic violence, when cops responded to a 911 call at Dykstra’s home on Bergen Street between Third and Fourth avenues. Dykstra claimed that Villanueva had called her repeatedly throughout the night, then showed up at her home, prompting an argument, then left.
Police went to Villanueva’s apartment on St. Marks Place between Third and Fourth avenueand were slapping handcuffs on Villanueva when he began fighting them off, shoving Officer Schaberger over a low railing.
Schaberger fell nine feet into a basement staircase below. He died of a broken neck.
©2011 Community News Group
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