Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino today announced Tamir Little, 31, and Samirah Lightford, 23, both of Irvington, have been indicted and arrested on complaints charging them with the murder of 3-year-old Neveah Turner.
Tamir Little, the victim’s father, was indicted on murder charges and endangering the welfare of a child. Lightford was also charged with murder and endangering the welfare of a child.
On Nov. 21, 2009 at about 4 p.m. the little girl was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital in Newark. Emergency medical personnel were told the child could not be awakened from her nap. On Nov. 23, 2009, Turner was declared brain dead. An autopsy revealed the little girl died from blunt force trauma.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Peter Guarino, the biological mother was unable to care for Neveah. Consequently, the child was placed in foster care. When steps where taken to make the child available for adoption, the biological father came forward seeking custody.
The indictment alleges that beginning on or about July 9, 2009, when custody was transferred to the father, the child was abused. It is alleged she had belt marks and cord marks. It is further alleged she sustained blunt force type injuries from what is commonly known as shaken baby syndrome.
The Honorable Peter Vazquez signed arrest warrants for Lightford and Little this morning at approximately 11 a.m. Both were taken into custody late today. Bail has been set at $300,000 for both.
These charges are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.