Two sides of the same coin

Trial set for dad in beating death of tot over Xbox incident
By Theresa Conroy, 215-568-8278
Philadelphia Daily News, December 13, 2006

Little Alayiah Turman's skull was so shattered that a piece of the bone - at the nexus of two fractures - actually broke away and fell off.

"There were skull fractures that ran from the right frontal region all the way to the back, then up and across the top of the head," Philadelphia Assistant Medical Examiner Edwin Lieberman testified yesterday.

"This was, of course, accompanied by marked injury to the brain itself," he said.

Lieberman, who performed an autopsy on the 17-month-old in September, said the toddler died after suffering at least five forceful blows to her head.

Her father, Tyrone Spellman, 25, yesterday was ordered to stand trial for her murder.

In his confession, Spellman said he punched the baby in the face and threw her into a chair in his Brewerytown home because she had yanked the control console of the Xbox game he was playing.

"The controller was still on the bed and she pulled the cord and the whole game console fell on the floor," Spellman told Philadelphia Homicide Detective Jack Cummings.

"I got up and popped her in the face and then I tossed her on a chair," he said, according to his statement. "She was in the chair just sitting there. I took her off the chair and put her on the bed. She was just lying there."

Then, Spellman said, he took a shower and went to the store to buy something to smoke and to eat.

The child's mother, Mia Turman, testified that she was taking a nap when Alayiah was hurt. Turman, who was pregnant at the time, has since given birth to a girl - also Spellman's daughter.

Turman said Spellman had told her Alayiah fell off the bed.

"She had blood coming from her nose. The side of her face was bruised. She wasn't breathing," Turman testified.

During Alayiah's autopsy, Lieberman discovered the child had a weeks-old broken arm that he believed had been caused by being twisted.

The Department of Human Services had visited Spellman's home just weeks before Alayiah's death. Officials were called there by an anonymous tipster who reported that an adult was screaming at the little girl and that there was a hole in the floor of the home, former DHS Commissioner Cheryl Ransom-Garner had told the Inquirer. She has since resigned.

DHS officials made several other visits and even took pictures of the child, but found that "it didn't look like an abusive home," Ransom-Gardner said at the time of Spellman's arrest.

Woman Gets Restraining Order Against Grandson
WMUR9 - New Hampshire, December 22, 2006

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- An 83-year-old woman has obtained a restraining order against her grandson, whom she said threatened to cut her eyeballs out and suffocate her.

Police said Adam Rossi, 28, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, pushed his 4-foot-8-inch grandmother into a chair last month, twisted her head and grabbed her arm. In approving the restraining order this week, a judge said Rossi also told his grandmother that he would smother her in her sleep and that "things that happen in this house stay in this house."

The grandmother told police she was so afraid of her grandson she would stay up all night and sleep only when he was at work.


Return to:

Front Page