Trial begins in murder of 4-year-old Aniya Day Garrett

(WARNING: Details of this case may be considered disturbing)

CLEVELAND-- The trial began Thursday afternoon for a woman and her boyfriend accused of murdering a 4-year-old girl.

Sierra Day, 24, and Deonte Lewis, 27, are charged with aggravated murder, murder and endangering children. Jury selection began earlier this week.

Day's daughter, Aniya Day Garrett, died on March 11, 2018. Police and paramedics were called to an apartment on Lakeshore Boulevard in Euclid.

A 911 dispatcher was the first to take the witness stand. Prosecutors played the call as the dispatcher described giving CPR instructions. She commented on how long it took for Aniya's mother to mention the girl wasn't breathing.

A firefighter, who responded to on the scene, said the girl was cold and stiff, with several burns, cuts and contusions in various stages of healing. He said he believed Aniya had been dead for some time, but emergency personnel continued to administer first aid.

Day told police at the scene she thought her daughter had a stomach virus and the girl fell while in the bathroom, according to the police report.

Months before her death, Mickhal Garrett, Aniya's father, filed for custody.

“I truly, truly, truly, feel as though our daughter (Aniya) is being abused at home physically/mentally and that her life could possibly be in danger," Garrett wrote in an affidavit.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services ruled Cuyahoga County child welfare workers failed the 4-year-old girl. Aniya wasn't removed from her mother's home even after telling caseworkers, "Mommy did it."

Garrett and other local activists pushed for changes to  the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services. In September, the county created the Children and Family Services Advisory Board in response.

The trial will continue Friday morning.

Continuing coverage of this story here

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.