FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 24, 2022
Brooklyn Woman Indicted for Beating 9-year-old
Daughter to Death in Crown Heights Apartment
Victim Suffered Blunt Force Impact Injuries to Face, Head and Body
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a woman has been arraigned on an indictment in which she is charged with murder and other charges for allegedly killing her 9-year-old daughter, Shalom Guiffaro, in the family’s apartment in Crown Heights.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This horrific murder ended the life of a precious young child, allegedly at the hands of her own mother. The brutality of this attack shocks the conscience, and we are committed to seeking accountability and justice.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Shemene Cato, 47, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo on an indictment in which she is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree manslaughter, one count of first-degree attempted assault, two counts of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault, two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and four counts of second-degree menacing. She is being held without bail and was ordered to return to court on August 5, 2022.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on May 15, at approximately 8 a.m., inside the family’s fourth-floor apartment, located at 571 Lincoln Place, the defendant allegedly beat Shalom and another daughter, 13, with an electrical cord and a broom during an argument over a missing tablet. The beating lasted for approximately two hours. At one point, Shalom allegedly tried to escape the defendant by crawling under a bed. The defendant then allegedly lifted the bed and attempted to pull Shalom out from under it. The defendant is alleged to have dropped the bed, causing the leg to fall off, and the bed to fall on Shalom’s head.
According to the investigation, the defendant called 911 at 1 p.m., and EMS responded and performed CPR on Shalom, who was pronounced dead at 1:21 p.m. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner later determined that the child suffered multiple blunt force impact injuries to her head, face, and body. The cause of death was blunt force trauma. The defendant’s 13-year-old daughter was taken to Brooklyn Hospital and treated for lacerations and contusions over her lower body.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Linda Weinman, Counsel to the District Attorney’s Special Victim’s Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Christopher Mirabella, of the Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Bureau Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.