Initial statement read in Rotterdam foster child murder case; Defendant cited fall from chair

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SCHENECTADY – The adoptive father now charged with murder in the December death of 4-year-old foster child Charlie Garay initially cited a fall from a chair, according to pre-trial testimony in the case on Tuesday.

The accused, now murdered, Dequan Greene, 27, spoke with Rotterdam police officer Daniel Bonitatibus shortly after the officers and paramedics arrived at 2734 Broadway in Rotterdam to Charlie who did not answer.

Bonitatibus was tasked with speaking to Greene to get his account of what had happened with Charlie, as paramedics attempted to rescue him at the scene and then took him to hospital, Bonitatibus said.

Greene freely made a brief statement in the kitchen of the house, which the officer transcribed, the officer said.

In the statement, read to court by Bonitatibus, Greene reportedly indicated that Charlie was sitting on a chair and fell. Greene asked him if he was okay. Charlie replied that he was, but with slurred speech.

Greene patted Charlie on the face and called his wife Latricia Greene to come home. He administered CPR. She called 911 when she arrived home.

Greene said he continued with CPR until paramedics arrived, but Charlie started throwing up with every squeeze he did.

Prosecutors have previously said Greene told others the child choked. Prosecutors have also previously referred to the story of the alleged fall from a chair.

Charlie died on Dec. 20 from injuries inflicted by his adoptive father, Dequan Greene, prosecutors said. Greene has since been charged with second degree murder and other counts.

Charlie and his 5-year-old brother had been placed in Greene’s care in September 2020 by the Child Protection Services of the Albany County Social Services Department, after an order from the County Family Court of ‘Albany removed them from the custody of their birth parents, Schenectady County prosecutors previously said.

The couple had been certified as foster parents by the Schenectady County Social Services Department, but had previously only taken in one child for a day, prosecutors said.

The hearing also came to an end a week after Charlie’s court-appointed representative of Charlie’s estate and his surviving brother’s representative filed a lawsuit against the two counties and anyone suspected of having been involved in the overseeing their affair, claiming they had missed repeated opportunities to get Charlie out. of the house and ultimately save his life.

The lawsuit claimed Charlie died of a blunt trauma that severed his liver.

Dequan Greene’s attorney, James Tyner, said his client denies any wrongdoing, calling it a terrible accident related to the boy’s choking.

Latrisha Greene is not charged in Charlie’s death. She had previously been charged with tampering with evidence, a charge that has since been dismissed. This left her facing two counts of endangering children. Her lawyer said Latrisha Greene denies the allegations.

The written statement was completed and Charlie was transported from the house, Bonitatibus said he was assigned to stay in the house with Dequan Greene and other children until the detectives could arrive.

As they waited at the house, Bonitatibus said he and Greene had talked “a bit of everything”. Greene spoke of playing music in church, with Greene’s wife being pregnant, of life.

Asked by prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham if Greene said anything more about what happened, Bonitatibus said yes.

When the conversation sometimes broke off, Greene once asked “is this normal?” Referred to the boy who was apparently eating corn and asked how Charlie was doing.

In his own questioning, Greene’s attorney, James Tyner, asked whether Bonitatibus thought Greene was not evasive and whether Greene had expressed concern for Charlie. The officer agreed.

Tuesday’s appearance concluded the hearing on Greene’s alleged statements and whether he voluntarily gave them. Judge Matthew Sypniewski is due to render his ruling later.

Contact Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 518-395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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