Nixzaliz Santiago was found guilty of manslaughter and assault, among other charges, in the death of her daughter, Nixzmary Brown. She faces up to 25 years in prison for manslaughter, as well as additional time behind bars for the other charges.
Nixzmary was found dead on January 11, 2006, in her Bedford-Stuyvesant home. She showed classic signs of child abuse, including blunt-impact trauma to the brain, as well as various marks on her ankles from being tied up for long periods of time and other injuries on the rest of her body in various stages of healing.
The parents quickly became suspects. Nixzmary’s stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in March. He was sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes said that his office would seek the maximum sentence of 33 years for Santiago.
“This should send a message to others out there who would abuse their children,” said Hynes following the verdict. “As a parent and grandparent myself, I am especially repelled by the brutality that it takes for a mother and father to kill their own child.”
The case shocked the city, and many blamed the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for letting Nixzmary’s case slip through the cracks.
“Since this tragedy, ACS has learned important lessons and made vital changes to its operations,” said Councilman Bill de Blasio, who chairs the Council’s General Welfare Committee. “The reforms it has instituted and its increased coordination with other city agencies has improved our ability to protect some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers.”