After a three-year wait, a 31-year-old East New York man has been convicted on second-degree murder charges for beating his girlfriend’s baby daughter to death.
On March 24, 2010, around 9 p.m., 22-year-old Candace Jones of Corona, Queens, went to work, leaving her boyfriend, Allen Shannon, to watch her 19-month old daughter, Anniyah Levant. Early the next morning, she got a call from Shannon. Anniyah didn’t look well, he told her. When Jones came home, she found the baby in bad shape. The couple took Anniyah by livery cab to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where the child was admitted. She never came home, dying a short while later of her injuries. When the Medical Examiner’s office examined her body, they found evidence of extensive trauma to the baby’s head and torso, including a broken jaw, broken ribs, a lacerated liver and spleen, bruising on her face, and internal abdominal bleeding, according to the Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown’s office.
The investigation by the D.A.’s office also found that soon after Shannon dropped Jones and Anniyah at the hospital, he went to the home of another female friend. He asked her to say he’d spent the past two days with her. When she asked why, he told her that he had punched Jones, causing her to drop the baby, who was seriously injured. But Jones later told investigators that Shannon had never punched her, and that she’d never dropped her baby.
Shannon was arrested three days after the incident; he’s been held without bail since then. His trial began a month ago before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael B. Aloise. At one point in September 2012, according to the Post, prosecutors approached a different judge, Gregory Lasak, with a plea deal that would have allowed Shannon to serve just five years. At the time, Shannon told the judge he’d have to mull over the offer “since I’m innocent.”
Lasak ultimately ruled that the offer wasn’t acceptable, and Shannon’s case was set for trial. His sentencing is set for November 7. He faces 25 years to life in prison.
At the time of Anniyah’s death, the family was being monitored by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). The ACS case dated from 2009, when Jones made domestic violence allegations against Anniyah’s father, who isn’t named in published reports. ACS sent Jones to counseling “to help her move on from the abusive relationship,” per NBC News. Shortly before her death, an ACS caseworker reported that the household was doing well, and there appeared to be no men in the home.
The full press release from the D.A.’s office follows.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 4, 2013