SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Police have charged a Schenectady woman with manslaughter in connection to her 8-year-old grandson's death.
The child, identified as 8-year-old Sha'hiim Nelligan, was found unresponsive by family members just after 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The child was treated by officials on scene and transported to Ellis Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
On Sunday night, the Schenectady Police Department arrested the boy's grandmother and legal guardian, 43-year-old Gloria Nelligan of 23 Mynderse Avenue, in connection to his death and charged her with one count of first-degree manslaughter.
Police say Nelligan and her grandson had a physical confrontation at their home on Friday. According to police, Sha'hiim was killed after a "prolonged beating."
"Something transpired on Friday which resulted in her using what would be considered excessive corporal punishment which directly led to his death," Lt. Mark McCracken of the Schenectady Police Department said. "According to court information, it was a prolonged beating that extended from Friday into Saturday."
An autopsy was conducted on Sunday, at which point the cause of death was officially ruled a homicide by police.
Neighbors described her as an "excellent caregiver" who kept Sha'hiim in school and took him to church. They say she was also caring for three other children under the age of 13, who are now believed to be staying with family members.
The residence is still being held as a crime scene, and the incident is still under investigation by members of the Youth Aid Bureau and the Evidence Collection Unit.
Nelligan was arraigned in Schenectady City Court Monday morning and has been remanded to Schenectady County Jail without bail. She is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on March 1st.