Detroit mom sent to jail after baby drowns in floor hole

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
Balloons are tied to the porch railing beside a makeshift memorial site for 1-year-old Ca'mya Davis, who died after falling through a hole in her floor to a water-filled basement.

A Detroit mom whose 11-month-old infant daughter fell through a floor board and drowned in sewage-filled water in the family's basement will go to jail for a year and be on probation for five years.

Dasiah Nichelle Jordan, 27, was sentenced Monday by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wanda Evans in connection with the neglect case involving her child.

The child's babysitter faces sentencing Tuesday.

Ca'mya Davis was in a bedroom of the home on Detroit's west side when she fell through the hole, which was covered by a piece of cardboard, July 6.

Jordan and the babysitter and homeowner, Tonya Desirae Peterson, 29, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse. Jordan also was charged with being a habitual offender. The mom pleaded guilty last month before the start of the trial.

Peterson was baby-sitting the child while Jordan was getting her hair done. But officials testified at the preliminary examination that Peterson had put a 10-year-old girl in charge of watching the child while Peterson watched television. 

Peterson was found guilty last month by a Wayne County jury.  

During the preliminary examination last August before 36th District Court Judge William McConico, the prosecutor said the infant had been sleeping in the room where the cardboard covered the hole.

"She had a child sleeping in this room with the only protection to be a cardboard box fall through a basement filled with sewage and drown to death," Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Tink said at the exam. "A 2-by-4 with some nails would have prevented this." 

Defense attorneys said what happened to the infant was accidental, but McConico said: "Prosecutors are right. It only takes a couple dollars to get a board ... Ms. Jordan did not take any steps to (alleviate) the obvious danger she subjected her children to and Ms. Peterson's actions are outrageous ... there shouldn't be babies watching babies."

Sarah Rahal contributed.

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