FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 15, 2023
Brooklyn Woman Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for
Death of 9-year-old Daughter in Crown Heights Apartment
Child Died Trying to Escape Beating by Defendant, Hid Under Bed that Collapsed on Her
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for beating her 9-year-old daughter, Shalom Guifarro, to death in the family’s apartment in Crown Heights. The defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The life of an innocent young girl was tragically and horrifically cut short at the hands of her own mother. Hopefully today’s sentence allows for some closure for all who were deeply affected by this heart wrenching case.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Shemene Cato, 50, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo to 15 years in prison. The defendant pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter on October 26, 2023.
The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on May 15, 2022, at approximately 8 a.m., inside the family’s fourth-floor apartment, located at 571 Lincoln Place, the defendant 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 tried to escape the defendant by crawling under a bed. The defendant then lifted the bed and attempted to pull Shalom out from under it. According to the evidence, the defendant then dropped the bed, causing the leg to fall off, and the bed to fall on Shalom’s head.
Furthermore, according to the evidence, 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 District Attorney thanked Special Victims Bureau Supervising Paralegal Melissa Palmaccio and Discovery Paralegal Julia Holman for their assistance on this case.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Linda Weinman, Counsel to the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Simpson, also of the Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Bureau Chief.