SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The judge has found Gloria Nelligan guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter in the death of her grandson.
The 43-year-old Schenectady woman was charged in the death of her grandson, 8-year-old Sha'iim Nelligan. She was convicted by the judge in a bench trial Tuesday morning and faces 25 years to life in prison when sentenced. Nelligan, a mother of five and grandmother of two, showed no emotion as the judge announced her verdict.
In February, first responders found Sha'iim unresponsive in the Schenectady home. The medical examiner determined he died after a 12-hour long beating allegedly at the hands of his grandmother, who was his legal guardian.
Nelligan's defense argued that she was parenting the boy, trying to teach him not to steal after learning he stole a pack of gum from a local store. Prosecutors claim she first made the boy write essays, then do pushups, and finally killed the boy during a prolonged beating, tying him to a chair and putting a sock in his mouth when he began to scream and cry.
Closing arguments were held on Monday; the defense first told the judge that 'beating meant discipline' in the home. The defense attorney admitted that the evidence and testimony surrounding the death of Sha'iim Nelligan are not pleasant; the reason the defense chose a bench trial and not a jury trial.
Sha'iim's biological mother was in court for the conviction. Keila Nelligan says her mother fought for custody of her son and says she's still trying to make sense of it all.
"I love my mom. I mean she did what she
did. You do the crime you do the time, that's basically it. But I don't hate
her," she told NEWS10 ABC. "Despite what she did to my son I don't hate her.
She's my mom, regardless, without her I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have had my
Nelligan has been remanded to Schenectady County Jail. Her sentencing is scheduled for November 8th.