What to Know
- Rysheim Smith, the boyfriend of Zymere Perkins' mom, could face homicide charges, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said
- The 42-year-old and Zymere's mom, Geraldine Perkins, were initially charged with child endangerment last September
- Zymere, 6, was found covered in bruises, scratches and welts on his stomach when his mom brought him to the hospital Sept. 27
The boyfriend of the mother of Zymere Perkins could be charged with killing the 6-year-old, authorities say.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is presenting a case for homicide charges against Rysheim Smith, 42, in addition to a previous charge of child endangerment, his office said.
The news comes three months after the city medical examiner ruled the boy's death a homicide. An investigation further determined that the child died from fatal child abuse syndrome, which means he showed evidence of acute and chronic abuse and neglect.
Last month, a damning state report revealed several instances where individuals who cared about little Zymere had called the Administration for Children's Services, starting when he was just a baby.
A tipster told the child abuse hotline Smith allegedly had hit Zymere at least 20 times at a June 2015 picnic while Perkins neglected to interfere.
Zymere died Sept. 26 after what prosecutors say was months of abuse by his mother and Smith. The day he died, Smith allegedly beat him with a broostick and hung him by his shirt over the back of the bathroom door.
NYPD detectives who investigated his case raised over $9,000 to help pay for the boy's Oct. 7 funeral and wake.
Five ACS case workers were placed on desk duty after Zymere died, and four others were suspended for a month without pay. A probe by Comptroller Scott Stringer's office found that at least 10 children died within three months under the city agency's watch.
Smith faced a grand jury in court Tuesday. The DA declined to comment on whether there's an attempt to upgrade the charges against Zymere's mother, Geraldine Perkins, as well.