Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two indicted in slay of little Kyle Smith

A Brooklyn couple entrusted with the care of a 3-year-old by his mom was indicted on manslaughter charges Thursday night in the boy's unspeakable beating death, prosecutors said.

Nymeen Cheatham, 30, and her live-in boyfriend, Lemar Martin, 25, were charged with killing toddler Kyle Smith on June 6 in their Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment.

"Those people need to rot in hell," Tamika Cooke, 32, said Thursday night at a memorial service in front of the Patchen Ave. building. "Whatever they get sentenced [to], they deserve that and more."

A Hello Kitty doll, a rainbow of teddy bears and a red toy truck were among the items piled in front of the building in memory of Kyle.

The event was part remembrance and part public service message.

"How many other children are going through this and people know it and aren't saying anything?" building super and memorial organizer Gail McNally said. "This is not a mind-your-business situation."

The death of the bright-eyed tot sent shock waves through the community where some residents recalled keeping silent about signs of abuse.

Elizabeth Frazier, 66, said she never saw Kyle being abused but remembers that the tot was almost too well-behaved, or "programmed," by Cheatham.
"When she moved, he moved," she said. "He didn't speak to anybody. She acted like she didn't want nobody to get near him. He had no smile on his face, no smile."

"I think at night," she said. "I think of this and I cry."

Kyle's mom, Eugenia Holmes, 24, left the toddler in Cheatham's care in August 2007 to move to her father's home in South Carolina to get her life together, an Administration for Children's Services report obtained by the Daily News shows.

Cheatham applied to the courts for guardianship in October, prompting ACS to investigate the home. The agency found the residence "in order and the child happy and healthy," the report states.

ACS failed to learn that Cheatham had lost custody of her four natural children and little brother in Texas in 2003 because of neglect, records show.

"As you saw in this instance, if ACS had had access to the information from Texas it might have approached this case much differently," City Councilman Bill de Blasio said.

He wants caseworkers to have access to criminal databases, and abuse and neglect data from other states.

The custody case was closed when Cheatham failed to show up for a family court hearing on Feb. 4 and Kyle remained in her care.

Kyle's body remained in the morgue Thursday, nearly a week after his death, despite offers of financial aid.

Around 200 people, some wearing T-shirts with Kyle's photo, attended the memorial service.
For a picture of the animals that were indicted in the killing of Kyle Smith and the original story .. click here - Two indicted in slay of little Kyle Smith

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