On Wednesday, a New York courtroom saw the home where a woman’s boyfriend allegedly beat her 6-year-old son to death in 2016.
According to the New York Post, jurors saw a video showing the filthy bathroom where Ryshiem Smith, 45, repeatedly beat Zymere Perkins until he died. The court was also shown pictures of the cluttered kitchen, three filthy bedrooms, and the dirty and trash-filled living room where Perkins was reportedly forced to live in.
Perkins reportedly slept on a makeshift bed. A picture of the living room showed a large white bucket— presumably filled with his urine and feces — sitting nearby. Assistant District Attorney Kerry O’Connell said the rug was crawling with maggots due to all the excrement that seeped into the carpet, according to the New York Daily News.
Smith allegedly tortured and killed Perkins in the roach- and maggot-infested home because he defecated on himself. The boy’s mother, Geraldine Perkins, reportedly watched the fatal beating occur.
In addition to the broom handle Smith allegedly used to bludgeon Zymere Perkins, jurors saw a hook on the bathroom door. Authorities said the suspect hung the lifeless boy and his wet clothes on the hook after dumping him in a cold shower.
Smith is believed to have taken the 6-year-old’s dead body off the hook and hurled him into a bedroom wall. His mother reportedly left to go get food and waited hours to take her son’s dead body to a hospital.
Prosecutors said Geraldine Perkins met Smith on the street 16 months before the murder. They accused Smith of abusing her son early on in the relationship and forcing her to also abuse her son under the guise of discipline.
Medical examiner Dr. Susan Ely testified on Tuesday that Zymere Perkins had a minimum of 30 rib fractures. She also claimed his injuries were consistent with “significant blows to the chest” and “forceful squeezing,” according to the Daily News.
Ely said the 4-foot tall victim weighed 35 pounds and looked younger than his age. Prosecutors alleged that his mother and her boyfriend withheld food as punishment, causing the boy to become so desperate that he ate out of the garbage.
Postmortem photos of 6-year-old’s thin body reportedly showed torso scarring and grab marks on his wrists. An examination determined he suffered widespread hemorrhaging underneath his skin due to the repeated beatings, the news outlet reported.
Three Administration for Child Services (ACS) workers were fired and the agency’s commissioner resigned in light of Zymere Perkins’ death.
An investigation revealed that ACS closed an investigation before adequately verifying allegations of severe discipline involving him. The agency was also accused of essentially overlooking as many as five welfare reports pertaining to the slain child.
Smith is currently on trial for second-degree murder and manslaughter. The slain boy’s mother pleaded guilty to third-degree manslaughter in 2017 and is expected to testify against Smith in exchange for a two-to-six year prison sentence.
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[Featured image: Zymere Perkins/Facebook]