2008 has been a dangerous year for Memphis children, advocate says - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

2008 has been a dangerous year for Memphis children, advocate says

In the first three months of 2008, no fewer than six young children were killed in the city of Memphis.

It started New Year's Day, when four-year-old Romello Winters and his brother, seven-year-old Christian Griffen, died in an overnight apartment fire.  Their mother, Aundria Jones, was charged with two counts of reckless homicide, accused of leaving her children home alone while she went out to party on New Year's Eve.

Within two weeks, 13-month-old Cynthia Ramirez died of blunt force trauma to her head. Her step-father, Danny Amador, was charged with first degree murder, accused of shaking the baby to death because she wouldn't stop crying.

Two children - two-year-old Cecil Dotson and four-year-old Cemario Dotson - were killed during the Lester Street Massacre in early March. 

And just this past Monday, six-year-old Charlis Fleming was killed when he was shot in the face.  The shooting itself was ruled an accident, but Jerome Black, 19, was charged with criminally negligent homicide for leaving a gun within the reach of children.

Nancy Williams of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center said a typical year might end in with the deaths of three children, though one is too many.

"We're going to have to somehow internalize that it is our job as adults to keep children safe," Williams said.

Williams said the Memphis Child Advocacy Center asks citizens to take notice of the children their environment. If you suspect a child is in danger, don't hesitate to get involved and call authorities, she said.

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