A Brooklyn woman is currently on trial for murdering her 3-year-old nephew because he was having trouble spelling.
Christen (Ninee) Dale, 21, beat Ethan Ali to death in a series of attacks, according to prosecutors. Dale whipped the young boy with a belt and forced him to stand in the corner of the room while forcing him to hold a bottle outstretched in his arms until the boy eventually fell and hurt his hip, according to a written confession made by Dale.
When the abuse continued the following day, it cost the young boy his life.
Ali “suffered extensive bruising on his torso, back, buttocks, thighs, arms, and scalp,” as a result of being beaten with a belt. There were multiple belt buckle marks on the boy’s body.
Defense attorney Michael Gold described the incident as “excessive discipline gone bad,” but emphasized that his client, who was Ali’s primary caretaker after his parents split, cared deeply for boy.
“There is no question that my client loved and was attentive to the child,” he said.
“What we have here is a tragic result of what can only be described as excessive discipline gone bad.”
Dale cared for the boy while his mother, Natasha Ali, 27, worked a full-time job and attended night classes.
“The father is very upset. The mother is catatonic,” an officer said.
Dale is facing both manslaughter and assault charges in the child’s death.