Defendants: Shanelle Straker (DOB 1/28/82); Henry Lantigua (DOB 9/20/79)

Oct. 9, 2019 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced Shanelle Straker and Henry Lantigua were arraigned Tuesday (10/8) in the death their six-week-old baby in the mother’s Mount Vernon home.

A Westchester County Grand Jury indicted them on the following:  

  • Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony
  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a misdemeanor

Westchester County Court Judge George Fufidio presided and set bail at $5,000 cash or bond each.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019.

On May 31, 2018, Mount Vernon Police and emergency services responded to 911 calls from the South 5th Avenue apartment where Shanelle Straker lived with her mother and her two children, including a newborn, Jessamine Lantigua, who was born April 16, 2018. Jessamine’s father, Henry Lantigua, lived nearby. On the 911 calls, each parent reported “an unresponsive child,” according to call records. On arrival, EMS found the infant unresponsive. They took the baby to Montefiore-Mount Vernon Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Medical and emergency personnel including EMS, the police and in the Emergency Room, noted the infant was emaciated and had a severe rash covering most of her body and her face.

The Medical Examiner declared the manner of death was homicide and the cause was undernourishment.

Assistant District Attorneys Christine Hatfield and Owein Levin of the Special Prosecutions Division are prosecuting the case.

In compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.6, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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