Charlenni Ferreira
October 30, 1998 - October 21, 2009

Find A Grave Memorial

No matter HOW many times I hear or read the statement "He/she didn't MEAN to kill the child", I never get used to the stupidity behind it, the legal definition of "murder", intention and all that total B.S. that Defense Lawyers use to get their clients less time. ANYONE who can pick up a newspaper, turn on the television, run a computer or listen to others is capable of knowing that if you abuse a child, you CAN kill that child while you are abusing that child, if you MEAN to or NOT. Abusing a child is against the law and what you INTEND to do while breaking the law should NOT matter, the outcome should matter and ANYONE further breaking the law by killing a child while abusing them should NEVER get out of prison...NOT EVER!

Charlenni Ferreria would have turned 11 years old on October 30, 2009. Charlenni had her whole life ahead of her, maybe she would be a ballerina, maybe she would be come a big sports figure, maybe, just maybe, Charlenni would be President of the United States one day, if not for the fact that someone who didn't "MEAN" to kill her while abusing her, actually DID kill her while abusing her. At some point, Charlenni had been taken to a Doctor and when he showed concern for her she told him she was treated like a Princess, the opposite was true and why she never told the truth, we will never know.

Charlenni had lived in Puerto Rico before she was sent to live with her father and his wife and children in Philadelphia in the year 2005 after it was alleged that her birth mother had been abusing her. In the Fall of 2006, the abuse of this little Angel began again and it was reported that it did not end until the day she died. In the Fall of 2009, Domingo had taken a trip to Puerto Rico and while he was gone, Margaret beat Charlenni over and over and hit her with sticks and a broom handle.

Charlenni had been seen by Doctors, Counselors, School Nurses and the Department Of Human Services had been involved in her life for about five months from 2006 to 2007. In 2007 her case was closed because the concerns of a school Nurse were not able to be substantiated and no further complaints were made. Investigators began going through her records in an attempt to figure out how the abuse she suffered could have gone undetected, however, it seems to me that it should be obvious that it DIDN'T go undetected if a school Nurse reported it.

Charlenni was found unresponsive in her home and she died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Doctors said that she had died of an infection and that infection was caused by the fact that broken ribs had caused her lungs to collapse. Injuries to her body were signs that Charlenni had been sexually and physically abused over a long period of time. Among those injuries were a seven inch injury to her head, a broken hipbone, broken ribs, collapsed lungs, vaginal and anal scaring, marks and bruises all over her body. Who could have done this to a precious little Angel?

Domingo Ferreria and Margaret Garabito, Charlenni's father and stepmother were arrested and charged murder, endangering the welfare of a child as well as other charges. Margaret admitted that she had hit Charlenni over the head with a broom and that was what caused the seven in fracture to her skull and resulted in brain damage. Of course in court, Defense Lawyer Barbara McDermott said that the only thing Margaret was guilty of was not protecting her step daughter from her husband who had been beating and molesting the little girl for a long time, she was only guilty of manslaughter in his eyes. Margaret claimed that she was told by Domingo that he would kill her and their three children if she went to the Police.

The day after she was to turn 11 years old a funeral service was held for Charlenni. There was a small group of people who attended the service who attended at the Guckin Funeral Mansion in Juniata Park, including Glenny and Maria Ramirez, a cousin:

"I couldn't prepare for this. That beautiful girl was innocent. It's terrible"

Glenny was so shaken up that she was unable to speak:

"She's doing badly, she's crying, crying so much"
Manuel Perez

Final Farewell is a charity that helps with funeral costs of children who come from needy families and they helped with the cost of the service as well as the costs that would need to be paid to ship Charlenni back to the Dominican Republic so she could be buried there.

In another part of town, neighbors, who had been keeping a memorial for Charlenni, celebrated her birthday to memorialize her. There was a cake at the celebration and Happy Birthday was sung in English and Spanish and then hundreds of balloons were released in her honor:

"The point of this is, she's all right, she's in Heaven, she has no more
pain. Everything is clean again and the girl is in peace"
Daly Blanco - Event Organizer.

Shortly after Charlenni's funeral, a service was also held for Domingo, he was cremated and his ashes would also be sent to the Dominican Republic to be buried. One of his nieces had this to say:

"He's a good person. He didn't do it"

Wanda Torres had come up with the idea for the party and with a translator present said that everyone should be watching out for the children and if anyone suspected abuse, they should do something:

"Please, please help them and report it"

In an opening statement in court, Prosecutor Andrew Notaristefano said that Margaret had hated Charlenni and wanted her out of her life and the way to do that was for the child to die. J. Michael Ferrell didn't see it that way:

"My client was a victim too"

Domingo Ferreira would never face the courts the way that Margaret would since three days after his arrest, he committed suicide, at the age of 53 he hung himself while in jail. Defense attorney J. Michael Farrell thought it was unjust that Margaret would face the trial alone, saying:

"This woman did not kill the child. This woman is not guilty of first degree
murder. Does she concede that on occasion she hit the child? Yes"

Margaret had already admitted to hitting Charlenni with the broom:

"I would hit her with a broomstick, but nothing to kill her"

Barbara McDermott had this to say about her confession:

"She admits that in her own limited way she was attempting to treat that
wound and to make sure the wound was cared for. She was afraid of
what would happen to Charlenni if she took any additional steps. She
did what she could to protect the child the best she could. She was a
loving and caring parent"
Barbara McDermott

Sorry, Barbara McDermott, what that translates to ME is that she was afraid of what would happen to HERSELF if she took this child, who was suffering horribly, to the E.R. for treatment. She KNEW what she had done and knew the consequences and she wasn't willing to risk getting into any trouble for being a child abuser.

Jurors were shown pictures of the wounds on Charlenni's body, including the head wound which had been stuff with cotton and had a weave placed over it in an attempt to hide it. Assistant Medical Examiner Marlon Osborne testified that in her scalp there were many bobby pins and clips that were intended to hold the weave in place and that they were imbedded into her scalp which was horribly scarred and almost entire void of hair. Margaret seemed to be upset and began wiping away tears when the autopsy photos were shown in court. It came out that Margaret had last hit Charlenni six days before she died, her crime was having asked for a calculator to do her math homework.

A Pediatrician testified in court about the skull fracture that Charlenni had:

"It's a remarkable wound. I don't recall seeing a wound like that in the 25
years of work I've done. She got bashed on the top of her head hard
enough to open the scalp down to the skull, fracture the skull, causing
underlying brain injury"
Cindy Christian

The trial lasted about three weeks and anyone in the courtroom listened to the full details of what happened to Charlenni during the last three years of her life at the hands of those who were trusted to take care of her:

"The injuries were the worst I have ever seen. They were the worst that so
many people involved in this case have ever seen"
Assistant District Attorney - Andrew Notaristefano

On February 20, 2015, a jury found Margarita Garabito guilty of first degree murder, she was 48 years old at the time. Common Pleas Judge Glenn B. Bronson said that what happened to Charlenni was the most horrible thing he had ever seen:

"I cannot conceive of a more terrible misbehavior than torturing
a child to death"

Judge Glenn B. Bronson sentenced Margaret to life in prison without the possibility of parole, just as it should have been.

One of Charlenni's sisters was there:

"I feel my father and my sister have both been served justice. I do believe
in the American justice system"
Glenny Ferreira-Rosario

While I respect Glenny's opinion about Charlenni getting justice, I think she has forgotten that her father was a partner in the abuse the took place, he was just lucky enough to be gone when this Angel died.Domingo KNEW what he had done and knew he would be convicted, so he took what he thought to be the easy way out. This sentence is not justice for him, his death was justice for Charlenni.

Margaret made a statement at her sentencing:

"God knows I have a good heart. God knows what I did and did not
do. I do not lie"

Margaret was obviously angry about what was happening and when she looked at her sisters, they were crying and she said to them:

"My children are now yours"

Testimony from the Medical Examiner was that the broken ribs Charlenni had were broken for up to four weeks prior to  her death. J. Michael Farrell said that Margaret had not been given a fair trial due to the fact that the Forensic Pathologist had been paid for his services. Jonathan Arden was paid because it was authorized that he he be paid due to the Defense being appointed by the court and while he disagreed with the verdict, he J. Michael Farrel said this:

"How can you disagree with the enormity of the injuries? I have seven
children. The courage of this young girl to have lived with the years that
she did with suffering, quiet suffering, that she must have exhibited is the
true heroine of this story. I'll never forget her"

Thank you goes out to "K" for caring about this little Angel.

This page was created on February 26, 2015
Death Occurred in the state of Pennsylvania

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