Caretaker pleads not guilty in toddler’s death

A Bronx caretaker charged with manslaughter in the death of a 20-month-old boy pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Monday morning.



Athena Skeeter, 40, is charged with manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in connection to the death of Cardell Williamson.



According to a criminal complaint, Skeeter, a licensed caretaker, told investigators that she was wrestling with Williamson when she stepped on his stomach several times. Williamson also had burns on his arms and face.



The medical examiner determined the boy died of blunt force trauma to the head and torso.



The toddler's parents said they were shocked to hear Skeeter plead not guilty.



"She is playing Russian roulette with her own life," said Carlyle Williamson, Cardell's father. "The evidence is going to stand for itself. She's just prolonging the inevitable."



Skeeter is due back in court on Jan. 12 at the Bronx County Hall of Justice.


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