Monday, February 6, 2006
"Aleshia Smith's oldest daughter was living with a relative, but the two-bedroom apartment on Kossuth Avenue in the Bronx was still crowded with her five other children — and two cats. Then on a November afternoon she invited Jose Calderon, 18, a virtual stranger with a nice smile but a bad temper, to move in, friends and relatives said. A dark chronology was set in motion that would end this week with Ms. Smith's 4-year-old son, Quachaun Browne, dead and the couple in jail, Mr. Calderon charged with fatally beating the boy, Ms. Smith with doing nothing to stop him.
According to interviews with relatives, friends and neighbors, many details of this story are unique to this man and woman, their life stories and their circumstances, but other elements seem to crop up whenever a child dies at the hands of an adult: a mother on welfare struggling to care for more children than she can handle; a string of boyfriends who promise to stick to the straight and narrow, but never do; and finally, an ominous new presence in an already distressed home." By Timothy Williams, New York Times Link to Article (last visited 2-5-06 NVS)