Saturday, 11 September 2010
SBS: Shaken baby clings to life in Queens as mom Nyemah Nickens is charged with assault
Kerry Wills and Thomas Zambito DAILY NEWS WRITERS
September 8th 2010,
Nyemah Nickens' baby Nyla is in grave condition and not expected to survive.
A 7-month-old Queens baby was near death Wednesday after her mother violently shook her to quiet a long crying spell Saturday night, prosecutors said.
Nyemah Nickens was charged with assault after investigators said she repeatedly shook her daughter Nyla during an overnight stay at her boyfriend's South Jamaica home.
After Nyla wailed inconsolably for a half-hour in the middle of the night, Nickens picked her up and shook the baby until she appeared to fall asleep, Queens prosecutors said.
About 5 a.m. Sunday, Nickens checked in on Nyla and noticed the child was stiff on one side and had a swollen eye, prosecutors say. Her boyfriend's mother called for help.
Nickens' mother told the Daily News her 20-year-old daughter was devoted to Nyla and managed to finish her senior year at Gramercy Arts High School while caring for the infant.
"She didn't do it," Avonnie Nickens said. "She would not harm that baby. They're trying to make her out to be bad. That is not nice."
Nyla was listed in grave condition Wednesday and was not expected to survive her injuries, prosecutors say.
Charges against Nyemah Nickens would be upgraded to murder if Nyla dies, prosecutors say.
"This case is a grim reminder of the fact that never, under any circumstances, should a baby be shaken," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
"She did not do this to her child," said Sabrina Goldwire, the baby's godmother.
Nickens was held without bail and is expected to return to Queens Supreme Court on Sept. 20.