A St. Albans woman was indicted on manslaughter charges Thursday, June 17, for allegedly starving her 7-month baby to death, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Carla Garriques, 28, of Liberty Avenue, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on a three-count indictment charging her with manslaughter in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to the charges, the baby boy named Kemari was born in March of 2020 and weighed 5 pounds and 11 ounces. Living in Florida, at five and six weeks old, the newborn was treated twice at a hospital in Broward County. At the last visit, he weighed 7 pounds and five ounces “and was thriving,” according to the charges. However, when Kemari was two months old, the defendant is alleged to have switched the baby’s diet from breast milk and formula to blended fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Garriques and her child moved to Queens in early October 2020, and between 2 and 6 months of age the child gained only 2 pounds, according to the charges. On the evening of Oct. 30, emergency medical technicians and police responded to a 911 call and found the baby unresponsive and without a pulse. Kemari was transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead. At the time he weighed just 9 pounds and 5 ounces. A typical weight for a 7- to 8-month-old is 17 to 22 pounds.
Katz said an autopsy performed on the boy showed severe malnutrition, dehydration, a loss of muscle mass and bone demineralization. The baby’s body also had an enlarged liver, an extensive kidney and sepsis. Medical evidence showed that the baby had allegedly endured prolonged malnutrition.
“This baby was delivered at full term and born healthy. Tragically, during seven short months of life he suffered with too little food and barely any medical care,” Katz said. “He died underweight with loss of muscle, bone and other maladies. As alleged, this defendant — the infant’s mother — was the sole caregiver who neglected medical attention and failed to provide basic sustenance for life to this helpless victim.”
Garriques was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant and remanded, ordered to return to court on Aug. 2. If convicted, she faces up to 25 years in prison.