Homeowner sent to prison for infant's drowning death

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
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A baby stroller sits beside a makeshift memorial site on the steps of a Detroit home where 1-year-old  Ca'mya Davis died after falling through a hole in the floor to a water-filled basement, where she drowned.

The owner of the Detroit home where an 11-month-old girl drowned after falling through a hole into a sewage-filled basement was sentenced Tuesday to up to 15 years behind bars.

Tonya Desirae Peterson, 29, was given a prison term of 17 months to 15 years in prison by Judge Wanda Evans of Wayne County Circuit Court in connection with the July 6 death of Ca'mya Davis.

The child was in a bedroom of the home on Ferguson Street in Detroit when she fell through a hole in the floor that had been covered with cardboard.

Peterson was babysitting Ca'mya while the girl's mother, Dasiah Nichelle Jordan, was getting her hair done. But officials testified at a preliminary examination that Peterson had put a 10-year-old girl in charge of watching the infant while Peterson watched television. 

The 10-year-old, who was allegedly cooking in the kitchen, opened the door to the bedroom to get light and the infant went inside and fell through the floor. The bedroom was normally closed off to prevent young children from getting near the hole.

Jordan, 27, was sentenced Monday to a year in jail plus five years probation.

Jordan and Peterson 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.

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

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

"A 2-by-4 with some nails would have prevented this," Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Jennifer Tink said   


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