The mother and brother of a 7-year-old Bronx girl who died at a hospital, where she was brought with trauma to her face and right side of her body, last year were arrested Wednesday on murder with depraved indifference and other charges in the disturbing case, according to three law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Julissia Batties was taken to Lincoln Hospital on Aug. 10, 2021, after cops responding to a 911 call at her Alexander Avenue apartment found her unconscious. She was pronounced dead within an hour. At the time, doctors told police Batties had dilated pupils and apparent trauma to her face and the right side of her body. Her internal temperature was 96.6 degrees and she was cold to the touch, the doctor reported.
Two days after Batties' death, the medical examiner's office ruled her case a homicide, saying she died of blunt force abdominal trauma after being struck with some object.
Wednesday's arrests are the first in the Batties' case and come after a grand jury indictment was unsealed last week. The girl would have turned 8 this past April.
Now her mother, Navasia Jones, and her brother, Paul Fine Jr., both face charges of murder with depraved indifference -- meaning they allegedly acted with no regard for the little girl's life even if they didn't explicitly intend to kill her -- manslaughter and acting in a manner injurious to a child. Fine is also accused of sex abuse and assault.
It wasn't immediately clear if either defendant had an attorney who could comment on the allegations against them.
There was a history of abuse in Batties' home, a law enforcement source said in the wake of the girl's death. Fine, who was 17 at the time, had told investigators he beat his sister because he thought she took his snacks, the source said.
The mother, though, had said her daughter fell and hit her head on a desk, The New York Times reported at the time. She said the girl began to vomit hours later.