Queens Mom Charged with Strangling 2-Year-Old Son

By DNAinfo Staff  on August 13, 2012 12:02pm  | Updated on August 14, 2012 2:00pm

Suspect Afriyie Gaspard struggles with Detectives as she is removed from the 107th Precinct in Queens on Monday August 13th, 2012.
Suspect Afriyie Gaspard struggles with Detectives as she is removed from the 107th Precinct in Queens on Monday August 13th, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Theodore Parisienne

QUEENS — A Queens mother allegedly strangled her 2-year-old son with her bare hands Friday because he was "screaming, crying and kicking," the Queens District Attorney's Office said.

Afriyie Gaspard, 29, who was arrested Monday, allegedly dropped Izayah Hall on his bed in the family's Fresh Meadows apartment, where he later died of his injuries, authorities said.

Gaspard has been charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, first-degree strangulation and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with Izayah Hall's death, the DA's office announced in a press release.

Gaspard, who was arraigned Monday evening and held without bail, faces up to 25 years in prison. Her next court date is August 27.

The Administration for Children's Services took custody of Gaspard's five other children.

The incident began about 3:30 p.m. Friday, when Gaspard allegedly throttled Izayah in their Fresh Meadows apartment for "approximately one minute until he stopped crying," the DA's Office said.

"The defendant allegedly said that her son then fell to the floor, on his hands and knees, and began gasping," prosecutors said. "She then allegedly picked up the child, saw her son's eyes wide open and roughly put him down on his bed, where he continued to make gurgling sounds."

Gaspard allegedly left the toddler alone for about 45 minutes. When she returned, "his eyes were partially open and he was unresponsive," Queens prosecutors said.

Izayah was later pronounced dead at New York Hospital Queens. The medical examiner later found "oval bruises on both sides of the neck" and other injuries "consistent with manual strangulation."

Gaspard's older sister, Stefanie, reacted to the charges with disbelief. She said Afriyie had insisted that Izayah died while playing with another child.

The suspect told her sister that the children with rope were playing with rope, when the other child wrapped the rope around Izayah's neck. Afriyie Gaspard interrupted the game, left the room and found Izayah unresponsive when she returned to the room, Stefanie Gaspard said.

"My sister is not a murderer," Stefanie, 32, said. "She never even raised her voice to her children."

Gaspard was emotional when she was escorted from the 107th Precinct stationhouse in Flushing Monday afternoon. Wearing a hooded red-flannel sweatshirt and jeans, she shouted and struggled with detectives as they walked her past a ring of reporters toward a waiting vehicle. 

A man who identified himself as Gaspard's husband shouted to her, then pushed through the reporters to hug her before he was led away from the crowd by cops.

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