15-year-old charged in toddler's death
Sat, 22 Nov 2008 02:17:39 GMT —
Updated Saturday, 12:30 PM
Syracuse Police have charged a 15-year-old with Second Degree Murder in the death of little Imani Jennings. At a news conference this morning, investigators said Anthony Weakfall Junior admitted to beating the 20-month-old girl with a metal pipe, a cable, a spring and his hands.
According to Police, Weakfall said he beat the toddler yesterday from 7 to 8 am because she urinated on the apartment floor. Police say, Weakfall then left the bleeding child and went to school. The child TMs mother, 18-year-old Cherron Patterson, was not at home at the time of the beating. Patterson called for help when she got home from school at about 2:45 pm.
Police say Patterson told them she had hit her child in the past. Police also told Action News, the couple left Imani alone over the last two weeks while they attended high school. Police say they left the toddler with a mug of milk and chicken nuggets.
Patterson is charged with Second Degree Assault and Endangering the Welfare of a child. She is being held on $50, 000 cash or bond. Police tell us Patterson is seven months pregnant with Weakfall's child.
Weakfall is charged as a Juvenile Offender with Second Degree Murder. He will be tried as an adult and possibly faces life in prison. Weakfall is being held at Hillbrook Juvenile Detention Center. He is not Imani TMs biological father.
Police spokesperson, Sgt. Tom Connellan, says the apartment walls were splattered with the child TMs blood. He says Crime Scene investigators will be working at the apartment for another two more days collecting evidence. An autopsy is planned for Imani. Her murder is still under investigation.
Updated 11:10 PM:
Police have now identified a toddler who was killed in her home Friday afternoon. Officers say 20-month old Imani Jennings' death is a homicide. Police found the girl unresponsive in her home on Fage Avenue during the afternoon. Rescue crews attempted to revive her but it was too late. Jennings was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Syracuse Police say they will release more information Saturday morning. Stay with Action News and wstm.com for the latest details as they come in.
Keep reading for our earlier coverage, including how neighbors are reacting to the crime.
Posted 9:15 PM Friday:
Neighbors are in a state of shock Friday night after city police found a toddler dead inside her home on Fage Avenue. City police are calling her death "suspicious."
The two year old girl was found unresponsive at the scene and efforts to revive her inside her apartment failed. The toddler was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Since then, city police have swarmed around the house looking for clues, but they have not released the young girl's identity or how she died.
Neighbors say the child lived at the home with her mother and her mother's boyfriend.. Many people on Fage Avenue said they knew the family and one neighbor had seen the mother as recently as Thursday.
Neighbors watched the tragedy unfold into Friday evening, speculating on what could have happened to this child.
Neighbor Doreen Davis told Action News that "I can't even fathom the idea of someone even doing something like this. Just the thought of it is like, beyond any comprehension."
On Friday night, detectives canvassed the neighborhood looking for anyone who may have seen or heard something out of the ordinary.