NEW YORK (CBS/AP) The Brooklyn mother of an emaciated and drugged 4-year-old who weighed less than 18 pounds when she died in September has been indicted for murder in her child's death.
Carlotta Brett-Pierce, 30, who is currently jailed on charges of assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and drug possession, could face 25 years to life if convicted on the new charges of second degree murder and manslaughter in the death of her daughter, Marchella Pierce.
Prosecutors added the charges to Monday's indictment after the city medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide, with the cause being child abuse syndrome, including acute drug poisoning, blunt impact injuries, malnutrition, and dehydration.
Brett-Pierce has been jailed since Sept. 2 when she called 911 to report that her daughter was unconscious and unresponsive.
In October, a grand jury charged her with second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment, among other charges, reports The New York Times.
According to the grand jury indictment, the alleged abuse began on at least July 12 and accuses Ms. Brett-Pierce of strapping Marchella to her bed, beating her with household items and depriving her of food and water.
The indictment also alleges Brett-Pierce force-fed over-the-counter antihistamines to her daughter, who was born with underdeveloped lungs, says The New York Times.
The grand jury is also looking into other aspects of the girl's care, including the action or inaction of the city's Administration for Children's Services which had opened a case on the girl, but admitted to not checking on her well-being for months.
Brett-Pierce is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday Nov. 16.