YOUNGSTOWN — The death of 7 1/2-month-old Kha-Niyah Williams does not mean that the city prosecutor will upgrade the felony child endangering charge filed against her mother.
City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said that an element of the charge is no criminal intent. He said the charge means a violation of parental duty of responsibilty that leads to serious physical harm, including death. If convicted, the penalty is one to five years in prison, the prosecutor said.
The charge was filed around 11 a.m. Monday against Shareitta Buffington, 21, of Almyra Avenue. Macejko said task forces were out today looking for Buffington to arrest her.
Kha-Niyah died at 7:30 p.m. Monday IN Akron Children’s Hospital, a spokesman said. Macejko said she died after being taken off life-support.
The infant had been left unattended in a water-filled bath tub last Friday evening with her 2-year-old sister. Buffington told police she’d gone to get soap in a bedroom and found Kha-Niyah face down in the water and unresponsive when she returned.