Kyle Chandler Smith
August 24, 2004 - June 6, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial
Eugenia Holmes, a former drug addict, wanted to get clean so she called on her friend to take care of her child while she went through the process. She made the mistake of not going through the foster care system which would have screened the home and monitored the progress of Kyle. 

Neighbors knew that something was not right with the way Kyle's guardian treated him. Seeing bruises on his body, hearing the way she yelled and cussed at him and even witnessing odd punishments such as making him stay out side in freezing temperatures in shorts and short sleeved shirts. The superintendent of the building they lived in saw Kyle in a long sleeve jacket when the temperature was so hot that his guardian had on shorts and a tank top. 

Adrian Paulson, who lived a few doors down from Kyle and Nymeen Cheatham. Adrian said she witnessed something in the elevator in their building. Nymeen was yelling and cussing at Kyle and even said she hated him and she hated all kids. The day after he died Adrian said:

“It’s crazy. I’m looking at the lady's face. I’m stunned. 
I’m scared for the child. I’m thinking: She must be 
doing something to that child.”

So, with all of the things that were witnessed by neighbors and even the superintendent of the building, why didn't anyone call and report this behavior to Child's Protective Services? When are people going to learn that if they DO NOT CALL, they might as well kill these children themselves because they are almost as guilty as their killers? Adrian Paulson said she didn't call the police because she lived in the building and did not want to anger Nymeen. I guess in her eyes it was better that a child suffered and died, than she make a neighbor mad.

“I don’t want to get in no argument with her. We live on the same floor.”

A visit took place at Nymeen's home after she petitioned the court for  legal custody of Kyle in October of 2007. The Administration For Children's Services decided that Kyle was happy and safe. The case for custody was closed, however, when Nymeen didn't show up to the court hearing on February 4th. Kyle would still remain in her custody.

Eight months before his death, the Administration For Children's Services was called by Kyle's grandmother who reported that Kyle had been punched by Nymeen who had told her that Kyle was peeling paint off of the wall so she punched him. The ACS report stated that Kyle was happy in his new home:

"Kyle appeared to be very comfortable with Ms. Cheatham. Ms. Cheatham appears to have a 
very good relationship with the child." 

No one bothered to check on Kyle in the months after the report. No one knew that Nymeen had lost custody of five children while living in Texas. Kyle's fate was sealed when his case was basically forgotten.

The criminal complaint against Lemer Martin and Nymeen Cheatham tells all about the injuries that Kyle suffered at the hands of the people who were supposed to give him love and affection. Kyle's guardians abused him by making him do pushups and march in place as punishment. Cold water was throw at him many times, again, as punishment. 

Lemer claims that while he tried to do CPR on Kyle, he saw that Nymeen was going to take some pills and wanted to kill herself.

In court papers made public yesterday, Lemer Martin, 25, says he was trying to perform CPR on the child, Kyle Smith, on June 6, when he saw his girlfriend searching for a bottle of pills. 

"Just let me take these. I don't want to suffer with the memory of this. You wasn't here, so nothing 
should bother you about what's happening with Kyle" 

Kyle died of blunt force trauma. His body and his face had lacerations and bruises that included his anus. Lemer Martin told the police that he had hit Kyle and Nymeen admitted that she had hit him repeatedly with her hands and had also used a hairbrush to beat him.

Lemer Martin was charged with manslaughter and his bail was set at $100,000. by Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach, to the shock of Kyle's family:

"It's crazy. He should not be let out"
 Norma Acosta

The judge said that he set a bail since Lemer was not charged with murder and was instead charged with manslaughter. 

"I don't consider $100,000 an insignificant bail" 
Judge Reichbach said

For her part in the death of Kyle, Nymeen Cheatham was held without bail.

Elliot Smith said that he tried to get custody of Kyle and was not able to get the courts to allow it:

"More than anything, I wanted my son to be with me, not them. I fought for Kyle, but they, the 
courts didn't give me custody. I love my son. I just wanted my son to be with me.  They never 
should have gotten him." 

Contradicting what he says, the Administration for Children's Services say that if Elliot Smith had wanted his son, he could have taken him at any time since Nymeen Cheatham never had legal guardianship.

.
“It was a wrong mistake. It’s a big family. We feel very bad.”
Eulalia Stack, a friend of the family speaking of the 
decision to leave Kyle with Nymeen
 


 

Kyle Smith on his birthday in August 2006.
 

     

Kyle's father, Elliot Smith, posted pictures of his son on his My Space page. His comments spoke of how devastated he is over the death of his son. Elliot's mother said:

"He is torn. He's in mourning right now. He's not doing very well at all, but he's hanging on." 
Norma Acosta

"That's the last image of my son I'm ever going to see. And him to just lay there on the table, I just wanted to touch him. I just wanted to touch him" 
Eugenia Holmes after seeing her son at the morgue

Kyle's body laid in that morgue for more than a week because his parents could not come to an agreement on where they were going to bury him. Elliot wanted to bury him in Manhattan and Eugenia wanted to bury him in Brooklyn. This time upset some family members:

"We were all upset about the length of time Kyle was at the morgue," 
anonymous e-mail

A decision was finally made and it was decided that Kyle would be laid to rest at the Chas Peter Nagel Funeral Home.

"It's heartbreaking. At least they came to some kind of arrangement about what they wanted to do. At least Kyle will be at rest. There's no more suffering for him.
Beverly Creighton - grandmother

On June 18, 2008, Kyle Smith was laying in his tiny, white satin lined casket surrounded by stuffed animals as family and friends were there to tell him good bye. Kyle wore a white baseball cap and there were white and pink roses. A purple monkey wore a New York Jets jersey and all were placed inside the casket . Baby photos and messages saying "rest in peace" were placed with Kyle in the casket as well. Though it was clear that makeup had been put on his face, the affects of the abuse he had suffered were clear to be seen.

"These people deserve to rot for what they did to that little boy. You could see the abuse. 
I don't know how the bastards could torture him like that" 
Kathleen Young - family friend

Kyle's father, mother and other family members attended the service and the funeral. 

"Everyone is grieving. As a mother, you feel sick." 
Kathleen Young

"It's important that everybody is together. We're trying to keep everything settled"
Elliot Smith

Mourning for Kyle were many family and friends including his grandmother Norma Acosta, his father, Elliot Smith and his mother, Eugenia Holmes. Also attending were Donna Cortel, Kathleen Young and her son, Derek McShane.
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Kyle's tiny casket leaves the service, heading for his final resting place. 

"Life is eternal, and the time we spend here on Earth is very short. But Kyle will be welcomed into heaven where he will be waiting for all who loved him"
The priest at the service

UPDATE:

Today is June 15, 2014 and while searching for updates in Kyle's case, I found the following information:

Nymeen Cheatham, who was 32 years old at the time, plead guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. She did not testify in court for herself and was not available to testify against Lemar at his trial.

In March of 2010, Lemar Martin, after having been found guilty of second degree murder in January,  was sentenced to 18 years in prison for not helping Kyle while he was being beaten to death. Justice Gustin Reichbach called the killing of Kyle a "hurricane of pain and brutality". Assistant District Attorney Cary Fischer said:

"By nature, I'm not a vengeful person, but when I saw what Mr. Martin forced me to look at in
the morgue at Kings County Hospital, photos taken of this little Angel's body, how battered
and bruised he was, I started to think, is 25 years enough"

William Martin, Lemar's lawyer said:

"They can't point to anything to show he was aware. My clients DNA wasn't on the pool cue.
He didn't do it"

"The only crime I'm guilty of is sleeping too hard. I Loved Kyle. I am innocent of the charges
I've been convicted of and I will continue to fight for my innocence"
Lemar Martin

Death occurred in the state of New York

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