Social workers charged in death of three-year-old

DETROIT (AP) – Prosecutors on Monday took the rare step of charging a social worker and her boss with manslaughter and child abuse, alleging that they neglected to do everything they should have to protect a 3-year-old Detroit boy who died.

Child Protective Services worker Elaina Brown and her supervisor, Kelly Williams, were arraigned on charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree child abuse and neglect in the death of Aaron Minor. Their attorneys didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Prosecutors allege that after identifying Aaron as vulnerable, Brown and Williams failed to provide a safety plan, ask police to conduct a safety check or file a juvenile court petition on Aaron’s behalf.

The boy’s decomposing body was found in his mother’s apartment in June while she was in a hospital psychiatric unit. Deanna Minor was charged in August with murder and child abuse. A competency hearing is set for Nov. 30.

Brown and Williams have been suspended with pay. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Bob Wheaton said officials are fully cooperating with the investigation.

Wayne County prosecutors say Brown, acting on a referral from Deanna Minor’s mental health worker, visited Minor and her son in April and found the food in the home to be inadequate. Brown spoke to her supervisor after the visit and sent a letter asking Minor to contact Child Protective Services, but prosecutors allege the mother didn’t do so.

Authorities say Brown never saw the Minors again, and both Brown and Williams were “grossly negligent and reckless in performing their duties.” Charging state social service workers, they contend, is a rare but necessary step in this case.

“We must seek to hold these defendants responsible for their alleged inaction,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “The ultimate result in this case was the death of a child that never should have happened.”

Brown and Williams are due back in court next Monday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s