Quasir Alexander
October 21, 2010- December 23, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial

Tanya Williams, who was 32 years old at the time, was living in a homeless shelter with her four children when she gave birth to twins, one who she named Quasir. On December 23, 2010, a medical crew was called to check on an unresponsive baby. That baby was two month old Quasir and he was dead. It would later be reported that on December 22th, all of her children had been checked, including Quasir, and reports say that they were doing well and were healthy. At the time of his exam, Quasir weighed only four pounds, which was less than he weighed when he had been born, two days after that exam, Quasir died due to starvation and dehydration.

Tanya Williams was charged with murder in the death of Alexander and two case workers were suspended until an investigation could be completed. Tanya's five other children were removed from her care before she was arrested.

Ted Weerts, the Executive Director of the Shelter, said that food and a place to stay are provided for the families who live in Lutheran Children And Family Services, Travelers Aid, shelter. The shelter has four case workers and about 300 people living there with most of them being children. Mayor Michael Nutter said:

"This is a tragedy and there will be a full investigation. The death of any child is tragic. A case of this kind, of course there's going to be a very intense investigation and we're fully cooperating with them. Any incidents or any suspicion of any abuse, we would bring in DHS. Any child that looks like they're hurt or injured, we make sure that 911 is called"

Police said:

"Homicide is looking into it to find out what took place, who is responsible. Obviously we're
looking at the parents but we're also looking to see if anyone else is associated with this
particular case"

It was reported that DHS was involved with the family though no investigations of abuse had ever been done. DHS Commissioner, Anne Marie Ambrose, said she was going to implement changes so that things like this would not happen again and a spokesperson for DHS said that Anne Ambrose was outraged by this case.

In January of 2011, the two caseworkers who had been assigned to Tanya's case, were suspended and police were investigating if charges would be filed against them:

"Even though there's been an arrest, someone's been charged, we're also internally looking at some
of the establishments that were involved in overseeing their case"
Sgt Tim Cooney

In that same month, the caseworker and a supervisor working on the case, were both fired.

Several days after Quasir died, his twin brother was still in the hospital being treated for malnutrition. Tanya had supposedly completed a 90 day parenting program to help her parenting skills and her last class was on finished on December 21, the same day that the case workers said that all of her children were in good health. Apparently, the twins were being fed formula and the shelter said that part of Tanya's government assistant check went to some of her living costs at the shelter, though no one goes without things they need.

In 2006, Danieal Kelly was also under the care of the city-funded case workers and due to visits being skipped and paperwork being forged, Danieal also starved to death and those case workers are serving prison sentences. That case brought about changes and new employees.

On March 30, 2011, it was reported that Tanya Williams would face a trial for what happened to Alexander. Though it was said by a nurse that on October 28, 2010, Tanya had been told to take her children to a Pediatrician since they were losing weight, Tanya's lawyer, Gregory J. Pagano, said that there was no evidence to support claims that she had intentionally starved Alexander and his twin brother Quamir. Assistant District Attorney, Jacqueline
Juliano was angry about that:

"She was their mother and she had four other kids. All she had to do was give him a bottle"

Jacqueline argued with Gregory and worked to make Municipal Court Judge, Teresa Carr Deni, see that Tanya should not be on trial for involuntary manslaughter, but instead should be charged with first degree murder. Gregory said that the only reason Tanya was facing a first degree murder charge was because she was poor, homeless and a single mother. During two hours of testimony, the nurse, Mary Louise Nash, said that she had become worried as the twins were losing weight and that she had spoken with Tanya several times and left messages with her and had even told a shelter receptionist that she needed a follow up visit with Tanya and the boys. Mary said she never got a response from Tanya or any shelter staff.

In July of 2011, Common Please Court Judge Benjamin Lerner said that though he could not imagine a mother starving her child to death, it was for a jury to decide the fate of Tanya:

"It's almost impossible for a human being, at least this human being, to get their head around
the fact that a mother would deliberately set out to starve a child to death"

The charge of first degree murder would stand against her and if convicted, Tanya would face a sentenced of either life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Jacqueline Coelho said she would not seek the death penalty against Tanya. Gregory Pagano said that if a team of experts had a hard time stabilizing Quamir in their
emergency room, how could an uneducated person such as Tanya realize that her children were sick? OH MY GAWD! Is this man an IDIOT or what?!? If Tanya had NOT starved her children, medical doctors would not have HAD to treat Quamir in the first place.

With more common sense than Gregory would EVER be in possession of, Jacquleine said that the problem wasn't anything that medical doctors were required to fix, that a bottle was the solution to the problem with the twins:

"This happened over a sustained period of time. She continually failed to feed this baby. This woman
only had to give him a bottle. There was an ample amount of formula"


In May of 2013, Tanya Williams, who was 34 years old at the time, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Quasir and aggravated assault in the case of his twin.

Gregory Pagano, her defense attorney, said that she shouldn't be held solely responsible since a caseworker had seen Quasir only 36 hours before he died and he added that his client only had an IQ of 65.. Two Lutheran Children And Family Services workers lost their jobs, though they were never legally charged with anything:

"She never intended for this to happen. It's unfortunately that she's carrying the full brunt of it"

Common Pleas Judge, M. Teresa Sarmina to nine to 18 years in prison. Tanya said in court that she was very sorry for what happened to Quasir and that she hoped some day to be reunited with her remaining five children.

Death Occurred in the state of Philadelphia

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