Social workers charged in Detroit boy’s death face exam

Oralandar Brand-Williams

A preliminary examination for two Wayne County social workers charged in connection with the death of a 3-year-old Detroit boy is underway Monday before 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King.

Elaina Brown, 24, and Kelly M. Williams, 47, both Wayne County residents, have been charged in the case of Aaron Minor, whose death allegedly came at the hands of his mother last May.

The boy’s decomposed body was found on the afternoon of May 25 in an apartment he shared with his mother on Trumbull near Warren on Detroit’s west side. The mother, Deanna Minor, has been charged in her son’s death and faces a competency hearing on Nov. 30.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the child’s death was a homicide. The boy’s mother was arrested Aug. 4 and charged with felony murder, second-degree murder, first- and second-degree child abuse and failure to report a dead body. The child was discovered in a bed at the apartment in the 4400 block of Trumbull.

Brown and Williams have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse, both felonies. Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a conviction on second-degree child abuse could result in a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Brown and Williams have been suspended with pay as a result of the charges, said Bob Wheaton, a spokesman for Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office accuses Brown and Williams were grossly negligent and reckless in connection with their treatment of the case involving the child and his mother. The office maintains the women “did cause the death of Aaron Minor” due to their gross negligent failure to “perform (a) legal duty” to protect the well-being and safety of the boy. They ignored ongoing reports, according to the prosecutor, that Deanna Minor was becoming more incapable of caring for her son due to mental illness and that the child was becoming more at risk of being harmed.

Brown and Williams also caused serious physical harm by knowingly or intentionally committing an act that likely would result in serious physical harm to the child, according to the prosecutor’s office. The women also failed to develop a safety plan and monitor the well-being of the child, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Brown has been with the department since 2015 and Williams since 1995.

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