- Father of tortured 4-year-old to be released from jail for son's funeral
- Myls Dobson was found unconscious January 8 at caregiver's apartment
- Judge to dad: "I'm letting you out to go give your son a proper burial"
The father of a 4-year-old boy tortured and beaten to death in New York will be freed from jail to attend his son's funeral, authorities said Thursday.
Myls Dobson was found unconscious and unresponsive January 8 on the floor of a bathroom at The Ritz Plaza, a luxury high-rise in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan. He had been subjected to weeks of abuse, allegedly at the hands of his caregiver. Myls was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
The boy's father, Okee Wade, 37, who has a lengthy arrest record, pleaded guilty in New Jersey Thursday to a charge of second-degree racketeering in connection with an elaborate bank fraud scheme. A judge ordered him released on his own recognizance until February 6 to attend his son's funeral, according to the state attorney general's office. Wade was arrested days after dropping his son off with a caregiver in mid-December.
"I'm letting you out to go give your son a proper burial," New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio said Thursday.
Wade must turn himself in February 6 and will be sentenced on February 21. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of five years in state prison, but the judge warned that he faces up to 20 years if he fails to turn himself in.
"If you don't come back in three weeks," the judge said, "the terms of this plea agreement go out the window."
A memorial service for Myls will be held Tuesday night at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem. An adviser to Myls' mother, Ashlee Dobson, said the father is welcome at the service "as long as he doesn't come and start anything."
"The father's family -- Myls' grandmother and grandfather -- have been participating in preparations and will be flying the baby's body for burial in a family plot in his native South Carolina," said the adviser, Tony Herbert. "He is a father. It's his child. We'll be in a church. We have to forgive."
Kryzie King, 27, was indicted in connection with the boy's death in Manhattan criminal court Wednesday.
She has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful imprisonment. A prosecutor told the court last week that King also was being investigated on suspicion of murder and faced additional charges. The indictment will be unsealed February 5.
In a statement last week, King's attorney, Bryan Konoski, said: "My client is not charged with homicide at this time and she is presumed to be innocent of allegations against her. I would tell everyone not jump to any conclusions at this time." On Wednesday, Konoski did not return a call seeking comment.
Also on Wednesday, Myls' body was claimed from the morgue in New York.
In the final weeks of his brief life, Myls suffered unspeakable acts of neglect and violence, according to a criminal complaint.
The boy had burn marks and abrasions on his head, neck, face and testicles, court papers said. There were bruises and numerous marks made by an object on his abdomen and legs and wrists -- bruises consistent with being restrained -- lacerations to his fingers, abrasions to his armpit, and bruises and scars on his back. The child appeared malnourished, the complaint said.
King told police that Myls' father dropped the child off for her to watch December 17 and that she was the "child's primary and sole caretaker" until the time of his death, the complaint said.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Myls' death tragic and ordered a full report on what happened by the end of this week.
"Each one of these tragedies, it's our job to try to stop," he said. "And god forbid when they happen, it is our job to learn from them and try to every time do better so we can reach more children."