Two workers for the Administration for Children’s Services were offered a plea deal after being blamed for the starvation death of a 4-year-old Brooklyn girl in 2010.
Case worker Damon Adams, 39, and former supervisor Chereece Bell, 37, were charged with criminally negligent homicide and official misconduct felonies in the death of Marchella Brett-Pierce, who was beaten, drugged and starved to death.
The 4-year-old girl was only 19 pounds when she died in Bed-Stuy on Sept. 2, 2010.
She was bruised, cut and had lacerations on her ankles where she had been tied up. An autopsy found a single grain of corn in her stomach as well as 60 adult doses of Claritin and Benadryl, El Diario reported.
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Her mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, was later convicted of murder.
Adams claimed he previously visited the family and recommended the mother be evaluated, but the agency closed the case after he reported the home was “stable” and the children were “safe.”
A criminal investigation found the report was forged, and Adams had not actually visited the family.
Bell was charged because she failed to monitor the case and allegedly helped Adams forge documents after the death.
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Charges brought against Adams and Bell were the first ever to be made against ACS workers in the death of child. Under a plea agreement neither will have a criminal record.
The plea deal requires that both plead guilty to misdemeanor charges, including endangering the welfare of a child, and serve 300 to 500 hours of community service, according to the New York Daily News.
“The result is that they’re really dismissing the case,” an attorney who was told about the deal said of prosecutors. “But they needed to save face.”
The agreement reduces the charges to disorderly conduct, which is a violation and not a crime. Their records will then be sealed.
A grand jury report released two months ago found that the ACS could have prevented 18 other deaths of children from 2005 to 2010, calling it evidence of “the existence of a systemic failure” of the city agency.