AMSTERDAM — The 19-month-old who died last fall suffered blunt force trauma while under the sole care of one of the women charged in the incident, according to court filings.
Kristen L. Burke, 38, of Amsterdam, is accused of “recklessly” causing the child’s death by blunt force trauma to the back of the toddler’s head, according to felony complaints filed in City Court obtained by The Recorder.
The child was under the sole custody and care of Burke when the incident occurred at a Grove Street apartment around 10 p.m. on Oct. 9, according to the court filings.
The trauma caused a subacute subdural hematoma, which led to the child’s death on Oct. 12. Police this week described the injury as “non-accidental.”
A 911 call that night reported the child was not breathing. Emergency crews determined the child was breathing, but was suffering from a then unknown medical distress.
The child was transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital before being transferred a short time later to Albany Medical Center where the toddler died three days later.
Burke on Tuesday was taken into custody and charged with felony counts of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault and criminally negligent homicide. She was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
Burke was arraigned in front of City Court Judge Lisa Lorman and sent to Montgomery County Jail in lieu of bail set at $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond.
Christina A. Kazala, 34, of Amsterdam, was also charged this week with endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the incident. She was released on an appearance ticket to be arraigned in City Court at a later date.
Kazala, identified as the sole parent of the 19-month-old, allegedly failed to seek appropriate care for the child and took efforts to conceal the toddler’s injuries, according to a criminal complaint filed in City Court.
While the child was being treated at Albany Med, investigators obtained text messages and photos exchanged between Burke and Kazala in September discussing various bruises and injuries to the child, according to a supporting deposition filed by police.
In messages quoted in the deposition, Kazala expressed fear over taking the child for medical treatment for an injury to his forehead. She and Burke reportedly discussed the worsening appearance and swelling of the injury several times from Sept. 23 through 25.
Police have not provided any details surrounding the specific circumstances of the alleged incident leading to the child’s death.
The Amsterdam Police Department and state police have been actively investigating the incident since it occurred. Montgomery County Child Protective Services and the Office of Montgomery County District Attorney Lorraine Diamond have aided the investigation.
Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.
One thought on “Felony complaint: 19-month-old suffered blunt force trauma while in sole care of one of the women charged”
After reading this, it’s hard to believe the “sole parent” was released on an appearance ticket.