Booked On Manslaughter Charges
A 29-year-old Fresh Meadows woman has been charged with the strangulation death of her two-year-old son because he was screaming, crying and kicking, law enforcement sources said.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified the defendant as Afriyie Gaspard, 29, of Jewel Avenue, who was booked on Monday, Aug. 13, on counts of first- and second degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, first-degree strangulation and endangering the welfare of a child. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
According to the charges, at 3:30 p.m. last Friday, Aug. 10, in Gaspard’s home, her two-year-old son, Izayah Hall, began screaming, crying and kicking. The defendant reportedly put both of her hands around her son’s neck and squeezed his neck for approximately one minute until he stopped crying.
Gaspard allegedly said that her son then fell to the floor, on his hands and knees, and began gasping. She then allegedly picked up the child, saw her son’s eyes wide open, and roughly put him down on his bed, where he continued to make gurgling sounds.
Reportedly, she checked on her son 45 minutes later and his eyes were partially open and he was unresponsive.
Members of the 107th Precinct and EMS units were called to the home. Hall was pronounced dead a short time later.
An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner led to the discovery of small, oval bruises on both sides of the neck; hemorrhaging within the ocular muscles of the eye; multiple areas of hemorrhage within the structures of the neck including the musculature; petechial hemorrhaging in the eyes; and bruises to the back of the head.
Reportedly, the neck and head injuries are consistent with manual strangulation and consistent with the defendant’s statements.
Assistant District Attorney Mina Q. Malik of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Marjory D. Fisher, bureau chief, and Kenneth M. Appelbaum and Lucinda C. Suarez, deputy bureau chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.
It was noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.