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DA: Mother charged in death of emaciated 4-year-old

By Mark Norman, CNN
  • Girl, 4, weighed just 15 pounds when she died
  • Police found toddler with marks on her hands, ankles
  • Mother refused child food and water, gave her medicine, police say

New York (CNN) -- The mother of an emaciated toddler found dead in her Brooklyn, New York, home has been charged with homicide, according to the district attorney.

Marchella Pierce, 4, weighed just 15 pounds and had marks on her hands and ankles when police found her unconscious in her family's apartment.

Her mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, 30, has been charged with her murder,according to a statement from Kings County district attorney Charles Hynes. She is suspected of binding her daughter to a bed and beating her, Hynes said.

Brett-Pierce then allegedly refused Marchella food and water, feeding her over-the-counter medicine, Hynes' statement said.

Marchella died in September with acute drug poisoning, blunt impact injuries, malnutrition and dehydration, the statement said.

Her mother previously had been charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, police said.