Chazarus Hill Jr.
Born in 2000 - September 20, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial
On September 20, 2003 in Oakland, California, a  young boy, was beaten to death by his father. Chazarus Hill Jr. was only 3 years old when he died. It seems that once again, an agency that was supposed to protect a child, failed to do so. Cha Cha was rushed to the E.R. at 2:00 am where he was pronounced dead.

Chazarus, known as Cha Cha, endured abuse for mistakes such as giving a wrong answers when shown flash cards. Neighbors had called Child Protective Services and found that nothing would be done. Cha Cha's Paternal Grandmother and Step Mother were both witnesses to his abuse, yet stood by and did nothing. Cha Cha's neighbors even went so far as to call his mother and Maternal Grandmother when the abuse got worse and CPS did nothing about it.  Cha Cha was beaten with sticks, belts and his fathers fists so much and so often that he was covered from head to toe with bruises.

"They were playing a number game that used flash cards,  every time the boy did something
incorrectly, like count 
'1,2,3,5,7,' he would be hit."
Oakland Police Officer Danielle Ashford

A relative of of Cha Cha's had this to say:

"I am really concerned about child protective service never stepping in, neighbors saying,
'hey, we saw things. We
knew things. We called and no one came out."
Cecilia Thomas

Sadly, Cha Cha's mother and Paternal Grandmother were on their way to go and get him, after calling CPS and asking them to protected him until they got there, but by the time they arrived, Cha Cha was already dead. Cha Cha's Grandmother and mother were both crying while being interviewed and his Grandmother stated that if CPS had done something, he would be alive.


This case was called "the worst case of child abuse they've ever seen. " by the the Alameda County Coroner's office. Cha Cha died from cerebral hematoma, or swelling of the brain. 

Charles hill admitted to beating Cha Cha, however, he later tried to blame the fatal beating on his wife who has had several children taken away from her by CPS. In court, Charles asked the Judge "I want to know where she is right now. ... It's supposed to be a trial together,".

Charles Hill was charged with one count of murder with a great bodily injury clause, and two felony counts of child abuse and assault on a child causing great bodily injury or death. If Charles is convicted he faces life in prison.

Charles' wife of only five months, Kymberly Dashon Ford Hill, was charged with one count of abuse likely to cause great bodily harm or death. Kymberly faces ONLY six years in prison if she is convicted.


Cha Cha with his cousin Samiya

UPDATE:

4 years for stepmom in young boy's death

Oakland Tribune,  Sep 22, 2004  by Glenn Chapman, STAFF WRITER
OAKLAND -- Kymberly Dashon Ford-Hill was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday for permitting the beating death of her 3-year-old stepson, Chazarus "Cha Cha" Hill Jr. 

Ford-Hill, 34, sat with Deputy Public Defender Kathy Ryals in a jury box to the right of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon and declined an opportunity to comment before he sentenced her. 

The only person to address Reardon for the record was Deputy District Attorney Jill Klinge, who told the judge she was no longer lobbying for Ford-Hill to be given the maximum sentence of six years in prison. Klinge credited the shift in position to Ford-Hill voluntarily testifying against her 24-year-old husband, Chazarus Hill Sr., at a preliminary hearing Friday. 

"I don't believe it's enough time for her," said Cha Cha's 31- year-old aunt, Tonya Foster, who sat in the gallery with the boy's biological mother during the brief sentencing hearing. "You don't stand around while this beating is being put on a3-year-old child." 

Foster said she believes Ford-Hill "contributed" more to the fatal beating than she is leting on. Foster paused outside the courtroom to hug the slain boy's mother, Tyrinza Brown, whose cheeks were streaked with tears. Brown wore a white sweat shirt with the words "Char Char My Baby." 

Four years in prison was the middle sentencing option allowed by law. The "aggravated term" of six years would have called for Reardon to determine Ford-Hill had a prior criminal history that warranted the harsher punishment. 

In addition to the prison time, Reardon ordered Ford-Hill to pay a $5,000 fine to a fund for witnesses and victims. 

Brushes with the lawFord-Hill's criminal history includes a January 2000 arrest for leaving four of her children, then ages 10 years through 4 months, in a car outside Pleasanton's Stoneridge mall while she and a friend shopped, according to Pleasanton police who took her into custody at that time on suspicion of child endangerment. 

Ford-Hill has no record of being convicted of the Pleasanton charges, but those children were removed from her custody. Her record shows a prior felony conviction in Santa Clara County for burglary and that she was on probation for a welfare fraud conviction at the time of her September arrest in connection with Cha Cha's slaying, 

Ford-Hill, who was represented by Deputy Public Defender Kathy Ryals, was charged with abusing a child or allowing such abuse. She married Hill five months before Cha Cha's Sept. 20, 2003, beating death. 

Hill, 24, faces trial on charges of murder with a great bodily injury clause, and felony child abuse and assault on a child causing great bodily injury or death. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Investigators believe the abuse of the boy spanned weeks. His body was battered from head to toe. An autopsy concluded the toddler died from a brain injury. 

Hill admitted he hit his son as punishment for erring in a counting and ABCs game, police said. Ford-Hill was often there when Hill beat his son, both in Oakland and at a relative's home in San Leandro, according to police detectives. Cha Cha was apparently being pressured to learn quickly so he could be passed off as an older child in a welfare money scam. 

Brown has filed a civil lawsuit against Alameda County Child Protective Services and the Oakland Police Department for not reacting swiftly to signs her son was in peril. The Chino resident had left Cha Cha in his father's care.

September 2004:

The wife of a man accused of beating his 3-year-old son to death last year was in court Friday to recount the day of physical abuse Chazarus Hill Sr. waged on his son before the child passed out and died. 

Kymberly Dashon Ford-Hill said the child, Chazarus "Cha Cha" Hill Jr., was subjected to a day of whippings, kicking and slaps "upside the back of the head" before he finally died Sept. 20, 2003. 

She told the story at a preliminary hearing for Hill Sr., who faces charges of murder with great bodily injury, felony child abuse and assault on a child causing great bodily injury or death. 

With her back to her husband, a soft-spoken Ford-Hill gave mostly one-word answers to questions posed by Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Jill Klinge. 

Klinge walked Ford-Hill through a statement she gave police after she was taken from San Leandro Hospital, where she and Hill Sr. drove the 3-year-old boy. 

In one graphic explanation, she testified about how Hill Sr. began to kick his son "like three times" after the boy collapsed on the kitchen floor. 

"He was just trying to fall asleep," Ford-Hill said. 

Asked why she didn't call a doctor or take the boy for help when she saw bruises on his body, Ford-Hill said, "I don't know. Maybe I thought my husband would get in trouble." 

Ford-Hill, who was Chazarus' stepmother, pleaded guilty to a charge of abusing or endangering the health of a child. She could face a maximum of six years behind bars, but Klinge said she will notask for the maximum penalty. 

Defense attorney Bill Daley, who was appointed to defend Hill Sr., tried to discredit Ford-Hill's testimony by implying she is trying to avoid the maximum penalty. 

But Klinge said no deal was made. 

Ford-Hill's testimony and that of a pathologist earlier in the day were a preview of the graphic descriptions of beatings expected to be given during a trial later this year. 

The pathologist, Dr. Paul Herrmann, said "there were so many blows to his (Chazarus') scalp, I can't even count them." 

Herrmann said Chazarus suffered extensive bruises and cuts to his cheeks, neck, chest, abdomen, buttocks and legs. 

Many of those injuries were a result of beatings Hill Sr. gave his son using switches -- long sticks similar to a tree branch. 

Klinge showed Ford-Hill dozens of pictures from inside two houses the couple stayed in. Each photo contained switches, found throughout both houses and inside the car of Hill Sr.

January 2007

An Oakland man charged with murder in the 2003 death of his 3-year-old son "Cha Cha,'' who was regularly beaten with belts and switches for failing to learn his ABC's and numbers, was convicted Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter. 

Chazarus Hill Sr., 27, was found guilty by an Alameda County jury of four men and eight women. Hill, in a red-white-and-black polo shirt, sat perfectly still resting his head on his hands as the verdict was read at about 10:30 a.m. His sentencing is scheduled for March 8. 

Though involuntary manslaughter only carries a possible sentence of up to six years, Hill could still serve up to 28 years to life in prison _ the equivalent sentence of a murder conviction _ for his related conviction on charges of felony assault on a child under the age of 8 causing death, Deputy District Attorney Darryl Stallworth said Tuesday. 

In December, jurors found Hill guilty on the assault charges and child abuse, but had been unable to settle on the primary count of first-degree murder and deliberated for nearly two weeks before and after a break for the holiday season. 

The lengthy deliberation and resulting manslaughter decision apparently revolved around one juror, who remained unconvinced of Hill's intent to murder Cha Cha, Stallworth said after speaking with all the jurors after the verdict. 

``One juror believed there was not sufficient direct evidence to show Mr. Hill knew the beatings could result in Cha Cha's death,'' he said. ``The other jurors felt differently as well as I did, that Mr. Hill should receive at least a second-degree murder conviction.''

Stallworth said he was disappointed with the verdict, but respected the jury's careful deliberation. 

"I know they worked hard, and I'm sure this will help bring closure to the family,'' he said outside the courtroom. "Nothing can bring this kid's life back, though. The pain for everybody involved will always be there.''

Hill's defense attorney, William Daley, said he felt the verdict was appropriate. ``I think justice was served,'' he said. ``I think the prosecution was somewhat over-reaching in seeking first-degree murder. In this situation, we were dealing with a man and his son, dealing with different traditions on discipline. I don't believe he ever intended to kill his son.''

Hill was originally charged with murder, assault and child abuse after his son Chazarus ``Cha Cha'' Hill Jr. died Sept. 30, 2003. The boy, who authorities say was punched, kicked and beaten with belts and switches when he made mistakes on his alphabet and numbers, collapsed and was driven to San Leandro Hospital by Hill and his wife, Kymberly Ford. Doctors at San Leandro pronounced Cha Cha dead.

An autopsy later showed the cause of death was a brain hemorrhage brought on by trauma to the head. The boy's body was covered in purple bruises, and his legs swollen, as seen in autopsy photos displayed in the courtroom during the two-week trial. A neighbor testified that Cha Cha ``walked like an old man'' and grimaced when hugged, telling her, ``My daddy punched me.''

Hill testified in his own defense, saying he had no intention of killing Cha Cha and had merely wanted the boy to do better on his numbers and the alphabet. He admitted he would regularly beat Cha Cha when he made mistakes on flash-card tests, but said he did not strike the child in the head. 

Daley conceded that Hill had beaten the child in an attempt to get him to learn, but argued that other factors may have contributed to Cha Cha's fatal injuries, including typical childhood accidents and falls and the fact that other adults _ including Ford _ had access to the boy and may have administered the deadly blows to the head. 

In April 2004, Ford pleaded guilty to felony child abuse for not doing enough to stop Hill from beating the child. She was sentenced to four years in state prison, was released from custody in October and testified in Hill's trial. 

Cha had spent most of the first two years of his life with his mother, Tyrinza Brown of Southern California, but moved to Oakland in 2003 to live with his father and Ford.

Father gets 26 to life for son's death

March 2009

Chazarus Hill Sr. took the life of his 3-year-old son four years ago, so the court should take his, family members said Thursday during the sentencing of the convicted killer. 

But putting the 27-year-old on death row wasn't an option. 

Instead, on the day his son "Cha Cha" would have turned 7 years old, the court gave Hill at least 26 years behind bars for the jury decision that found he killed his son. 

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Kingsbury said he sympathized with the family's demand but was mandated by state law in what kind of sentence he ordered. 

Nevertheless, the boy's mother, grandmother, aunt and uncle said Hill should be punished in the same manner he punished his own son for not learning his "abc's and 1, 2, 3s" fast enough. 

"This man should not live," said David Brown, the boy's uncle. "He didn't feel any remorse for (what) he did. It's like just another day. He should get the death penalty." 

Other family members cried as various relatives of "Cha Cha" spoke before the judge and toward Hill. Meanwhile, Hill showed no emotion as he sat with his head down at the defense table. 

Hill did not speak when asked if he wanted to give a statement. 

"I just want to know why," said Tyrinza Brown, the boy's mother. "He wasn't a bad boy, as far as his abc's, he knew all that. 

"I think (Hill) owes me that much, to tell me why," she continued. 

Hill was originally charged with murder, assault and child abuse after his son Chazarus "Cha Cha" Hill Jr. died Sept. 30, 2003. 

The jury, however, found Hill guilty of the lesser involuntary manslaughter charge which carries a maximum of six years in prison. However, they also found him guilty of felony assault on a child under the age of 8 causing death, which carries a sentence of 28 years to life, the same penalty associated with murder. 

The boy, who authorities say was punched, kicked and beaten with belts and switches when he made mistakes on his alphabet and numbers, collapsed and was driven to San Leandro Hospital by Hill and his wife, Kymberly Ford. 

Hill testified in his own defense, saying he had no intention of killing "Cha Cha" and had merely wanted the boy to do better on his numbers and alphabet. He admitted he would regularly beat "Cha Cha" for making mistakes on flash-card tests, but said he did not strike the child in the head. 

Hill's defense attorney, William Daley, conceded that Hill had beaten the child in an attempt to get him to learn but argued that other factors may have contributed to Cha Cha's fatal injuries, including typical childhood accidents and falls and the fact that other adults, including Ford, had access to the boy and may have administered the deadly blows to the head. 

Ford previously pleaded guilty to felony child abuse for not doing enough to stop Hill. She was sentenced in 1994 to four years in state prison. 

Hill was sentenced on three separate charges Thursday morning. However, because of state criminal laws, the only charge he will serve is the 28 years to life. Kingsbury also gave Hill credit for about four years he already spent behind bars, which means Hill will be eligible for parole in 17 years. 

Deputy District Attorney Darryl Stallworth said he doubts Hill will win parole when his time is up and said he hopes the community learns from the tragic death of "Cha Cha." 

"His incarceration and punishment will hopefully teach other men," Stallworth said. "This should also be seen as an opportunity to save other babies and lives." 

Patricia Blair, "Cha Cha's" grandmother, said she was satisfied with the sentence and thanked the community, from city leaders to media outlets, for their support. 

"I am satisfied because I know he will never get out. He will never be able to enjoy his life," she said.

Death Occurred in the state of California

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