Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A court document released Monday details how a toddler was allegedly killed by his father late Saturday night. According to the document, three-year-old Ameen Washington died after his father, 25-year-old Marcell Washington, held his face under a steady stream of water for ten minutes.
At Marcell’s arraignment hearing Monday morning, many were left wondering “why?”
“We don’t know. We just don’t know,” Marcell’s aunt, Noretta Flemming said. “All we can do is pray that God will give us the answer in some kind of way.”
The 25-year-old father, standing in shackles before the judge, his head down, entered a mandatory not guilty plea. On Sunday, police say Marcell described how he killed his son Ameen, while showing no remorse.
“How do you explain killing a three-year-old?” Syracuse’s Police Chief Frank Fowler said. “What words can you fashion that would explain your actions in killing a three-year-old.”
Court documents don’t answer that question either, but they do indicate Washington intentionally held the three-year-old’s head and face under a stream of water for ten minutes causing him to drown.
Following Monday’s arraignment, both sides of the toddler’s family were visibly shaken by the news, openly grieving the loss of a father and his son.
“We went over to her family last night to just let them know that we're sorry. It's a loss for everybody. We lose, they lose, so, you know, we just don't have any answers,” Flemming said.
Police say Washington didn’t have a history with child protective services, but he did have a criminal record. Family members say this is unlike Washington’s character and they didn’t know him to use any drugs.
Washington is being held at the Justice Center without bail. He’s due back in court on Wednesday.
Man accused of killing 3-year-old son arraigned
November 7, 2010
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The Syracuse man accused of drowning his 3-year-old son Saturday appeared in Syracuse City Court Monday morning.
Marcell Washington was assigned a lawyer during the brief court appearance, during which he pleaded not guilty to a charge of second degree murder. City Court Judge James Cecile assigned a lawyer to Washington and returned him to jail, where he is being held without bail.
Syracuse Police allege Washington drowned his son, Ameen, in the shower on Saturday night. Police allege he then put the child's body in his bed and went to a friend's house.
The friend drove Washington back to the home because he said Washington was acting strangely. The friend called for an ambulance for the boy, who police believe had been dead for several hours by that point.
Washington ran away but turned himself in to police on Sunday.
November 6, 2011
SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - "This is just sick," declared Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler as he wrapped up a news conference detailing his department's latest homicide investigation, the death of a toddler.
Behind the caution tape surrounding 2546 South Ave, police say they unraveled a story that will never make sense to even their veteran members.
"He took his baby into the shower and drowned his own baby, this 3 year old precious baby," said Police Chief Frank Fowler.
Chief Fowler said, in his opinion, 25-year old Marcell Washington showed no remorse as he described taking the life of his toddler, Ameen Washington.
Police believe they were alerted hours after the death, when a family friend discovered the boy's body just before Midnight, Saturday evening.
The friend told police he'd been out with Washington earlier that night and asked where the boy was.
When Washington claimed the toddler was home alone, the friend insisted they check on Ameen. As the man called 911, Washington ran from the home before investigators arrived.
"We actually saw the police out here last night in the middle of the night and then we got up this morning and they were still here. So, we knew something pretty bad must've happened over there," said neighbor Linda Abear. "We weren't sure what it was until we heard it was a 3 year old."
Abear said Washington had just moved into the home a few months ago and was living with two other men. They seemed relatively quiet with many visitors on the weekends. She had never seen children in the home before.
"Its a scary feeling to know that something happened that close to where I live," said Abear. "It's an awful thing to think that something like that happened to a child."
As investigators spent the night trying to piece together what led to Ameen's death, his father was brought to the station at 4:00am by a sister.
Washington had shared custody with the boy's mother and was supposed to be taking care of him for the weekend.
It did not appear during questioning that the mother was a target of aggression or retaliation. Police were not prepared to identify any motive after hearing Washington's version of what happened.
"How do you explain killing a 3 year old?" asked Chief Fowler. "What words can you fashion that would explain your actions of killing a 3 year old? I don't know of any."
Marcell Washington is charged with second degree murder.
Police say this isn't the first time he has been in trouble with the law. Past charges include marijuana possession and attempted burglary.