Bronx DA: Bronx Man Indicted in Murder of Infant Son by Placing Pillows on His Head, Smothering Him




Defendant Also Indicted for Beating the Infant’s Mother

          Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been indicted on Murder and Manslaughter charges in the death of his six-week-old son. 

        District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant had complete disregard for the life of his infant son and allegedly killed him by smothering him with a pillow. We will hold him accountable for the death of this six-week-old defenseless child named Kaseem. The defendant is also charged with assaulting Kaseem’s mother last year while she was pregnant with him.”

         District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Teshawn Watkins, 27, of 3642 Holland Avenue, was arraigned today on two counts of second-degree Murder, first and second-degree Manslaughter, two counts of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, first-degree Reckless Endangerment, Attempted Assault in the second degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and third-degree Assault before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas. The defendant was remanded and is due back in court on May 20, 2020.

According to the investigation, in the early morning of January 29, 2020, the defendant was in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Celicia Reyes, and their three children when his six-week-old son, Kaseem Watkins, began to cry. The defendant allegedly became irate with the baby’s crying and placed pillows on the infant, blocking his nose and mouth. The defendant went back to sleep and when he woke up, he saw the infant unconscious. The mother called 911 and the child was taken to Montefiore Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy report revealed the child died of asphyxia due to smothering. 

According to the investigation, the defendant allegedly placed pillows over Kaseem’s head on at least one other occasion prior to the fatal incident, sometime between December 9, 2019 and January 29, 2020. Video from a baby monitor camera allegedly shows Watkins grabbing Kaseem by the head and spinning his head, causing the child’s body to flail into the air, and then covering the baby with pillows. Another video allegedly shows the defendant smothering and punching Reyes inside their home on October 27, 2019, while she was pregnant with Kaseem.

          The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Felicity Lung, Homicide Counsel, of the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Rachel Ferrari, Chief of the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau, and under the overall supervision of Joseph Muroff, Chief of the Special Victims Division.

    District Attorney Clark thanked Assistant District Attorney Amir Fadl of the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau for his assistance in the case. District Attorney Clark also thanked Detective Robert Regnier of the 47th Precinct and Detective Sean Butler of the Bronx Homicide Squad.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

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