The woman accused of beating and starving her bed-ridden 4-year-old daughter to death is facing more than 20 years in prison now that she’s been convicted of murder in the second degree.
It took a jury about an hour to convict Carlotta Brett-Pierce for the death of her child Marchella.
Marchella, who was disabled, bed ridden, and born with a medical condition that forced her to eat and breathe out of feeding tubes, died on Sept. 2, 2010, allegedly after days of torture at the hands of her mother, prosecutors said.
Police claimed that 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, was also charged with manslaughter. She, too, was convicted last week and is facing 15 years in prison, prosecutors say.
During the two-week trial, both Brett-Pierce and her 6-year-old son Tymel were called to the stand to recount the days before Carlotta died.
Tymel Pierce, who testified via a TV monitor at his mother’s trial, said he didn’t see his mother do anything out of the ordinary.
“No,” Pierce said when prosecutor Perry Cerrato asked him if his mom tied Marchella to the bed.
But when Marchella died, his mother, who he called “my old mommy,” lied about what happened.
“When I woke, my mom said she fell down the stairs,” he said.
Brett-Pierce admitted that her daughter “hot lost weight” in the months before she died.
“To me, at the time, it didn’t look bad,” the mother said of her daughter’s weight. “She looked like a child who wasn’t sitting on her booty in the hospital all day. She was outside running around for the first time in her life.”
District Attorney 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.
Jurors split the difference on two men accused of being Colombo crime family assassins — they convicted them of racketeering, but not of a string of murders, including the slaying of Sheepshead Bay cop Ralph Dols.
A Brooklyn federal jury acquitted Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli and Dino “Little Dino” Saracino of the Dols murder, as well as several others, when the verdict was reached on May 9.
Both men were charged with racketeering and are facing 20 years in prison as a result.
Prosecutors claim that Gioeli and Sarcino killed Dols after opening fire on the off-duty cop as he left the apartment he shared with Kimberly Kennaugh, the ex-wife of then-Colombo acting boss Joel Cacace.
Cacace reportedly ordered the hit against Dols — even though he was an NYPD housing cop — because he felt disrespected that his ex-wife was sleeping with a police officer, Posa told the jury.
But Gioeli’s attorneys swatted away the testimony from turncoat mobsters — claiming that they were trying to save their own skin.
Kennaugh was stunned that Gioeli was going away — but not for Dols’s death.
“How is that possible?” she told the Daily News. “This is unbelievable!”Reach Deputy Editor Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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