A young mother watched her 5-year-old son's slow, agonizing death in their apartment after she beat him for breaking the television while playing a Nintendo Wii video game -- but didn't take him to the hospital because she was afraid of getting arrested, prosecutors said.
Kim Crawford, 21, was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and ordered held without bail Tuesday in the death of Jamar Johnson.
Her landlord told the Associated Press that he had helped her move into the Bronx apartment, attaching the flatscreen television on a wall. However, before he even met the young woman, Edgar Parker had a premonition.
"I had a feeling I shouldn't have her here" -- mainly because there were problems with her paperwork, which was delayed.
"I was saying, 'I don't want to rent her the apartment' -- I felt something coming," he said. "But she called and begged me."
Police responded to the home on Friday at about 7:15 p.m., and found the dead boy, prosecutors said.
Crawford told them she'd gotten angry at him for breaking the TV while playing the video game. He was beaten violently, causing fatal internal injuries, but she did not call for help until he was ill and vomiting, then fell unconscious and died, prosecutors said.
Jamar was unresponsive when police arrived. Crawford initially told investigators he was sick and didn't wake up, but eventually confessed after two days of questioning that she hit the boy hard in the back and stomach, authorities said.
Defense attorney Camille Abate did not return a call seeking comment. She told the Daily News that Crawford shouldn't have been charged with murder. The facts do not establish that she tried to kill her child, Abate said.
"Whether or not she did it on purpose doesn't matter, because my beautiful grandson is gone and he's not coming back," Jamar's grandmother, Betsy Johnson, told the Daily News. "It's a tragedy. It's inexcusable."
The boy was believed to have been injured sometime last week, and Crawford has been accused of refusing to call for help because she feared she would get in trouble. The medical examiner's office ruled Jamar died from blunt impact injuries of the torso with internal injuries and peritonitis, an infection that can result from untreated injuries.