Two child-welfare workers pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that they contributed to the brutal death of 4-year-old Marchella Brett-Pierce, marking the first time in city history that Administration for Children’s Services workers have been prosecuted after a child died on their watch.
Damon Adams, the former ACS worker who handled the case, and his former supervisor, Chereece Bell, were indicted for criminally negligent homicide, among other chargers.
The child’s mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, who has been charged with second-degree murder, is accused of beating Marchella, tying her to a bed and starving her. Loretta Brett, Marchella’s grandmother, also pleaded not guilty to manslaughter yesterday for allegedly witnessing the abuse.
An attorney for Bell said she has been “unfairly targeted.”
“Why should she be responsible at all because someone lied to her?” Joshua Horowitz said.