Nearly a month after a woman was charged with inflicting weeks of torture on her jailed boyfriend's 4-year-old son, medical examiners haven't determined what killed him, but prosecutors said Wednesday they still believe murder charges are likely.
In a barely audible voice, Kryzie King pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assaulting and endangering Myls Dobson, whose death prompted the mayor to order reforms to the city's child welfare agency.
While there's no official ruling on whether the boy's death was a homicide, "all of the evidence suggests that Myls Dobson's death was caused by this defendant," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg told a judge.
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"When the defendant took custody of Myls Dobson, he was a happy, healthy and well-nourished little boy," Blumberg said. But when he was found unconscious in King's apartment Jan. 8, she said, "his lifeless body was bruised, burned and cut from head to toe."
She said the medical examiners' findings are expected within about a month. A medical examiners' office spokeswoman wouldn't say what test or questions are pending.
Defense lawyer Bryan Konoski said it was too soon to draw conclusions about the case.
"At this point, my client is presumed innocent," said Konoski, who is seeking a psychiatric examination of King, 27.
During about three weeks of caring for Myls, King seared his leg with a hot oven rack, bound him with shoelaces, beat him with a belt buckle while he tried to hide under the bed, locked him outside on a freezing balcony for up to an hour and watched him starve, losing 10 to 20 pounds, before she called 911 on Jan. 8 saying he'd been hurt in a fall, prosecutors say. She admitted the abuse and said the boy had misbehaved, they say.
Myls' mother lost custody of him in 2012. His father left him in King's care when he was arrested in December on charges of failing to show up for court on an unrelated case in New Jersey.
The city Administration for Children's Services missed possible signs that Myls was at risk earlier in his life, including the fact his father was in jail while he had custody of him from September 2012 to February 2013, officials said after a review. The father's girlfriend during the earlier jail stint, not King, told ACS case workers he was at work during their repeated visits to the home, officials said.
The review prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce a list of changes to ACS, such as expanding its access to law enforcement databases to assess whether caregivers are reliable.