Aunt beats 3-year-old boy to death because he could not spell

Aunt beats 3-year-old boy to death because he could not spell
Published: 2015 March 16 08:37:08 (8636 Views)
An aunt allegedly whipped and tortured her 3-year-old nephew to death because he couldn't spell.

In her admission to beating of Ethan Ali, Christen (Ninee) Dale, 21, told authorities the toddler was flunking spelling lessons she started giving him two weeks ago, leading to a series of assaults, according to court records.

About a week before the Brooklyn boy died, he "had problems completing the lessons and she had gotten angry and whipped him with a belt," a source familiar with her admission said.

The day prior to Ethan being found lifeless, he refused for the first time to participate in the lessons so his aunt made him stand in the corner holding a bottle with outstretched arms for 45 minutes until he fell forward and smashed his lip, according to the confession.

The next day, the aunt continued with her outrageously unrealistic demands, given that most kids are at least a year away from even starting to learn their ABCs at Ethan's age.

She "told him he had to do some spelling and when he said 'no,' she whooped him with a belt," a source said.

That was more than Ethan's little body could handle.

He died in a Brownsville apartment and his body was covered with buckle markings, prosecutors said. An autopsy showed he "suffered extensive bruising on his torso, back, buttocks, thighs, arms, and scalp," according to court records.

Dale, who was ordered held without bail after getting arraigned for manslaughter and assault charges, was looking after the boy for the past few months.



The parents had separated and the mom Natasha Ali, 27, is working full time as a home health aide and taking evening classes so she asked her sister for childcare help, a source said.

"The father is very upset. The mother is catatonic," said a law enforcement official.

The aunt's lawyer, Michael Gold, described her as a devoted caretaker who is heartbroken by the awful death.

"There is no question that my client loved and was attentive to the child," he said in Brooklyn Criminal Court. "What we have here is a tragic result of what can only be described as excessive discipline gone bad."

He added that Dale was like a mother to Ethan, taking him to field trips and helping with school projects.

About a dozen of her friends and relatives were in court as the lawyer asked for her release.

Judge Andrew Borrok ordered her held without bail. She is facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

In her confession, Dale said that her boyfriend, 26-year-old Kenroy Skeet, never abused the boy.

On the day of his death, Ethan felt sick and stayed home, according to the aunt's statement.

He later became rambunctious so she challenged him about skipping preschool classes. When he again refused to spell, he got one final beating - which proved fatal, authorities said.



Source - NYDN

Tags: abuse, discipline,
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