New York City day care provider charged with manslaughter

Daycare. (Fotolia)

Daycare. (Fotolia)

REUTERS

, Last Updated: 9:25 PM ET

A New York City woman licensed as a day care provider said she was "wrestling" with a toddler in her charge before he died, prosecutors said Sunday.

Athena Skeeter, 40, was formally charged Sunday with manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the Friday death of 20-month-old Cardell Williamson in her home in New York's Bronx borough.

According to the criminal complaint, Skeeter said she "was wrestling with Cardell" before his death.

"I lifted him by one arm and one leg and threw him to the floor," the documents said. "I stepped on his stomach three times. I didn't use full force."

Skeeter said the boy vomited and couldn't walk straight. She left the room and then found him slumped over in running water, the complaint said.

Emergency medical officials tried to save the boy who died en route to a nearby hospital, law enforcement officials said.

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Skeeter was licensed by the city to provide day care out of her Bronx home, police said. A search of New York City's Administration for Children's Services daycare provider database did not turn up a listing by her name or zip code.

Children's Services did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Skeeter's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.


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