NEW YORK (AP) The mother of a 7-year-old girl beaten to death by her stepfather provoked the man to abuse the child and did nothing to help as her daughter cold, naked and battered lay dying on their apartment floor, prosecutors told jurors Thursday.
In an abuse case that cast a spotlight on New York's troubled child welfare agency, Nixzaliz Santiago went on trial in Brooklyn state court on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the death of her daughter, Nixzmary Brown. She has pleaded not guilty.
Nixzmary died Jan. 11, 2006, of a vicious blow to the head while being punished for stealing yogurt. Investigators discovered she had been a virtual prisoner, confined to a room with dirty mattresses, a broken radiator, an old wooden school chair she was bound to with a rope, and a litter box she was forced to use instead of a toilet.
Nixzmary was so malnourished when she died that she weighed only 36 pounds.