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Carlotta Brett Pierce beat and starved her daughter to death — to the point that when an autopsy was performed on the 4-year-old, it found that she had one single kernel of corn in her stomach when she died, prosecutors said on Monday as Pierce’s trial began.
“Marchella was a fighter right to the end, but she was no match for the defendant, her own mother,” Assistant District Attorney Perry Cerrato told a jury in his opening statement.
Pierce is facing life in prison for killing little Marchella, who was disabled, bed ridden, and born with a medical condition that forced her to eat and breathe out of feeding tubes.
Marchella died on Sept. 2, 2010, allegedly after days of torture at the hands of her mother, prosecutors said.
Police say Pierce tied her daughter to a bed inside their apartment and battered her with household items. She also allegedly deprived her of food and water.
When Marchella died, she weighed just 18 pounds, prosecutors said, and police found marks on her wrists and ankles, a sign that she had been bound by cords.
Pierce was charged with murder after an autopsy showed Marchella died of “child abuse syndrome.”
Pierce’s mother and Marchella’s grandmother, Loretta Brett, is facing manslaughter charges for not preventing the child’s death.
Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes also charged two city Administration for Children’s Services workers for allowing the alleged torture to continue by not bothering to follow up on Marchella’s case — a point defense attorney Alan Stutman raised during his opening statements, where he laid most of the blame on city social service agencies who were responsible to check on the child’s condition.
“There was no one there to support her,” Stutman said. “There was no one on the outside knocking on the door.”
Pierce’s trial continues this week.
A Bay Ridge architect is expected to get 15 years in prison now that he’s admitted to wanting to travel overseas to join a jihadist terror group.
Agron Hasbajrami, 28, an Albanian citizen legally residing in the US, claimed that he was lured away from his New York City architecture career after becoming radicalized on Internet websites preaching holy war.
He pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court on April 12 to one count of providing material support to terrorists.
“I tried to help a group of people who I believed were engaged in fighting in Pakistan,” he said. “I attempted to help the group by providing money and myself in support of their efforts.”
Hasbajrami was arrested on Sept. 6, 2011 after the FBI and the NYPD, working off a tip, searched his home, discovering a note that read: “Do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time,” according to the Daily News.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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