What to Know
- Three-year-old Jaden Jordan died in early December, six days after he was found with critical injuries at his Brooklyn home
- He had been fighting for his life after suffering a fractured skull and a lacerated spleen and liver.
- Charges against the mother's boyfriend were upgraded to include murder after the medical examiner ruled the boy's death a homicide
A Brooklyn man now faces murder and other charges in the beating death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old son, who spent a week on life support last year before ultimately passing away.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the upgraded charges against Salvatore Lucchesse, of Gravesend, Friday. The indictment comes about a week after the medical examiner ruled Jaden Jordan's death a homicide. Lucchesse had previously been charged with assault.
Lucchesse was arraigned Friday on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and child endangerment. He was remanded and faces up to life in prison if convicted of the top count against him. An attorney for the 24-year-old Lucchesse couldn't immediately be reached Friday.
Investigators say Jordan was left home alone with Lucchesse while the boy's mother was at work for about seven and a half hours Monday, Nov. 28. At some point during that time, Jordan allegedly defecated on himself. Around 4:30 p.m., investigators say Lucchesse called 911 and reported the boy was unconscious.
Jordan, found soiled and unresponsive, was taken to Coney Hospital and then transferred to Columbia, where he remained after falling into a coma. He had suffered severe head trauma, including a fractured skull, and was removed from life support Dec. 3. He died the same day.
Jordan's death was the subject of a scathing report from the city's Department of Investigation that found the Administration for Children's Services woefully unprepared to handle emergency cases that come up outside of normal business hours. ACS had gotten a tip on Saturday, two days before workers got to Jordan, about possible child abuse at the home, but the agency said the address was wrong and it took workers through the weekend to find him.
The DOI report rips ACS for failing to get to the boy sooner, saying its investigation found that "the depth of errors over a two-day period was so significant, and the errors involved the overall implementation of policies so basic, that they go to the heart of ACS’s core mission of protecting children and implicate high-level, systemic problems."
According to the report, ACS agreed to form a new Emergency Children's Services Applications Unit with specialized training on database assessment. The agency will also look at caseloads within ECS and determine staffing needs.
ACS has said an internal review found none of its staffers acted inappropriately in the Jordan case, but DOI said the agency recently said it is taking various actions against six staff members, including corrective action plans, retraining and, for some, disciplinary charges including suspension.