Brownsville woman gets 22 years for beating young nephew to death
A Brownsville woman was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Thursday for beating her 4-year-old nephew to death while she was babysitting him.
Christen Dale, 24, was convicted by a jury in front of Justice Miriam Cyrulnik last month on charges that included first-degree manslaughter for the death of her nephew Ethan Ali. On Thursday, Dale was sentenced to 22 years in prison, plus five years of post-release supervision following her release.
“She took me away from my son,” said the victim’s father, Leroy Ali, during testimony. “I wish she gets the maximum sentence.”
Dale, who was living with her sister in a Rockaway Parkway apartment in February 2015, was watching the boy while her sister was at work. At some point, according to testimony, Dale began to beat him with a belt, striking him repeatedly with both the strap and the metal buckle.
Dale told police she had been trying to teach the 4-year-old to spell and became enraged when the child failed to focus on the lesson, according to court documents.
“It is incomprehensible that anyone could hurt a child, much less beat an innocent and helpless 4-year-old, to death. Ethan Ali was robbed of his young life and now this defendant will appropriately spend many years of her life in prison for this brutal act,” Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.
The 4-year-old Ali suffered blunt impact trauma resulting in internal bleeding causing organ failure. He was left with bruising on his torso, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and scalp, according to the medical examiner.
“This was an unbelievable cruel act which caused unbelievable suffering for the 4-year-old,” said prosecutor Frank DeGaetano.
An emotional Dale, whose sister pleaded to the judge for leniency, expressed her regrets in a testimony in court, “For the rest of my life I will always mourn my nephew … I will miss and cherish every moment we shared.”