Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Mother of dead baby caught in Akron, jailed
The baby's father is facing an unrelated felony domestic violence charge.
YOUNGSTOWN The mother whose 71/2-month-old baby died after being left unattended in a bathtub was captured Tuesday evening in Akron.
Shareitta Buffington, 21, of 602 Almyra Ave., was due in municipal court today for arraignment on a child-endangering charge.
Members of the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force, aided by the Akron FBI, found Buffington around 6 p.m. Tuesday at an Akron residence, then transported her to the Mahoning County Jail.
The death of her daughter, Kha-Niyah Williams, does not mean the city prosecutor will upgrade the felony charge filed against Buffington.
City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said an element of the endangering charge is no criminal intent. He said the charge means a violation of parental duty of responsibility that leads to serious physical harm, including death.
If convicted, the penalty is one to five years in prison, the prosecutor said.
The charge against Buffington was filed around 11 a.m. Monday.
Kha-Niyah died at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Akron Children's Hospital, a spokesman said. Macejko said she died after being taken off life-support machinery.
The infant had been left unattended in a bathtub Friday evening with her 2-year-old sister, Khaliya Williams. Buffington told police she'd gone to get soap in a bedroom and when she returned, she found Kha-Niyah face down in the water and unresponsive.
Kha-Niyah's grandfather, Stanley Williams, lives across the street from his grandchildren on Almyra. He declined to comment on what happened.
About children's father
Macejko said that Buffington, by her own admission, is three months pregnant again by the father of her two daughters, Khaliff Williams, 22, also of Almyra Avenue.
The prosecutor said a felony domestic violence charge against Khaliff Williams was bound over to a Mahoning County grand jury last month. He has a prior domestic violence conviction, which makes the latest charge a felony.
Khaliff Williams is accused of pushing Buffington while she was holding Kha-Niyah. The baby struck her head during the attack, Macejko said.
Buffington, meanwhile, has an open case with the Mahoning County Children Services Board that involves her 2-year-old daughter, Macejko said. He declined to say what the case involves.
Earlier this month, Khaliff Williams pleaded no contest in Mahoning County Area Court in Boardman to driving without a valid license and received credit for four days served in jail. He was placed on one-year's probation and given 60 days to produce a valid license. If he doesn't produce a valid license, he must do two days of day reporting at the jail.
At the time of the traffic arrest, in July 2006, his address was listed as Idora Avenue.