Warning: Some of the testimony may be graphic.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The social worker from Cuyahoga Children and Family Services, who was handling the case of 4-year-old Aniya Day Garrett says she was terminated from her job in August 2018, a few months after the little girl died.
Lorra Greene, the social worker, who asked her face not be shown, testified Tuesday during the trial of Sierra Day, 24, and Deonte Lewis, 27. Both Day and Lewis are charged with aggravated murder, murder and endangering children.
Day’s daughter, Aniya Day Garrett, died on March 11, 2018.
Greene said she started investigating the case in the late fall of 2017, she said she went to the apartment twice and was told Aniya wasn’t there. She said on the third time she saw Aniya and questioned the child in front of the mother.
She said Aniya was very soft spoken. She said there were no bruises on the front of her body. A small scrape on her back and a small bruise on the arm. The mother told her the child fell on the stairs at the grandparents home.
On March 9, 2018, the social worker met with the father of Aniya, who was concerned about her. The social worker said she called Sierra to meet with her on Friday, March 9 but Sierra said she wasn’t available until Monday, March 12. Aniya died on March 11.
Greene did not give the reason she was terminated. She now works as a substitute teacher.
Erica Johnson, Sierra’s Sister, also testified and told jurors she contacted county officials because she was concerned about her niece.
She said Sierra Day would take Aniya into a room to discipline her. She said once Aniya came out with a bloody nose. She said Sierra told her the child fell.
“We would see Aniya with bruises,” Johnson testified. She said when she asked about the bruises Sierra would say she fell.
Johnson said she was also worried about her sister.
“I wanted to get her help,” Johnson said.
She said she never saw Lewis discipline or hurt the child.
Johnson and Isaiah Day, Sierra Day’s, brother both testified that they felt Sierra was a good mother but started changing after she began dating Lewis. Day’s attorney said Sierra struggled in school and her family was worried about her being able to live on her own.
Also on Tuesday, Dr. Joseph Felo, a Forensic Pathologist, with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, took the stand providing more information about the cause of Aniya’s death. She weighed 26 pounds when she died and had suffered a stroke.
On Monday, the jury heard testimony from Aniya’s father, Mickhal Garrett.
“I think I lost it. I lost it. My mind just could not bear to think about something like that,” he said about the day his daughter died.
Garrett told the jury that he filed a complaint with Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services and a report with East Cleveland police when he noticed signs of abuse during a visit with his daughter.
The prosecution is expected to call a detective and coroner to the stand Tuesday afternoon.