Schenectady County

Service held for 20-month-old homicide victim

Friends and family gathered Friday morning for the funeral services of Asiah Maxam, just 20 months o

Friends and family gathered Friday morning for the funeral services of Asiah Maxam, just 20 months old when he died Sunday, the victim, police say, of homicide.

The seats inside Rossi & Ditoro Funeral Home were filled with mourners. Pastor Elaiani Lane told mourners that the answer to why this, as everything, happens is with God.

“We may not understand the things that happen to people in the journey of life,” Lane said, “but we know one thing, that God is in charge.”

Flower arrangements were abundant at the services, with one holding a small white bear. There were also other stuffed toys and handwritten messages.

Next to the guestbook was a poster with the words “In loving memory of Asiah Maxam.” On the poster were four pictures: a happy Asiah with his father, a group picture of family members — Asiah was one of seven children. There were also pictures of Asiah in a walker and a car seat, pictures of a younger Asiah, a child who never got the chance to be older.

What happened to that boy remains the subject of a police investigation. Asiah was pronounced dead Sunday evening after the boyfriend of Asiah’s mother carried him from the family’s apartment at 611 Hattie St. across the street to a neighbor’s home to call paramedics.

The boyfriend, identified as John J. Batease, allegedly told neighbors the boy’s injuries came in a fall from a crib. An autopsy though, concluded Asiah’s death was a homicide.

Because Batease was with the child, police have called him a person of interest in the investigation.

Batease, 32, of 611 Hattie St., has been in jail since early Monday on a felony first-degree criminal contempt charge unrelated to the child’s death. Batease appeared Friday afternoon in Schenectady City Court on the contempt charge. He was also formally informed that a grand jury had voted an indictment in the contempt case.

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