Guardians indicted in 3-year-old's death

Kyle Smith found dead in his Brooklyn apartment
June 24, 2008 8:48:27 AM PDT
The Brooklyn DA has announced the indictments of Nymeen Cheatham, 31, and Lemar Martin, 25, for killing 3-year-old Kyle Smith, who had been living in their care. Cheatham and Martin are both charged with Manslaughter in the First Degree, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Assault in the Second Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. If convicted, they face could face 25 years in prison.

Police found Kyle Smith's battered body in the apartment he shared with his guardian and her boyfriend earlier this month.

Around 10:30 a.m., police went to the fourth-floor apartment at 129 Patchen Avenue in Bed-Stuy. Paramedics took the unresponsive child to Interfaith Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The medical examiner ruled Smith had been beaten to death. Police said the 28-pound boy had a broken leg and appeared to have been burned and sodomized with an object before he died.

"The kid was really messed up," neighbor Greg Daniels, 22, told the Daily News. "He was pale, and there were cigarette burns and bruises on his arms and back."

If convicted, they face could face 25 years in prison.

A superintendent in the building, Gail McNally, told reporters the boy had arrived at the home about a year and a half ago, and was in Cheatham's care because his mother was a drug addict.

She said the boy appeared malnourished when he first came to the family, but had improved and had previously shown no outward signs of serious physical abuse.

"It broke my heart to see them pumping his chest and breathing for him on a respirator," McNally said. "I was hoping to God he had a chance."

Neighbors called Cheatham the boy's godmother, but a police spokesman said that description was incorrect.

WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick