SCHENECTADY – A felony tampering with physical evidence charge lodged against a Rotterdam foster mother related to the investigation into the death of 4-year-old Charlie Garay has been dismissed, attorneys said Wednesday.
The judge in the case dismissed the felony count last month, citing insufficient evidence.
Two other charges, misdemeanor child endangerment counts, were left standing and those charges continue to be prosecuted.
Latrisha Greene was charged in January and later indicted on the evidence tampering count, accused of sending a text message to her husband from the hospital after Charlie was taken to the hospital to “clean up the house if you can.”
Prosecutors contended that amounted to tampering with a crime scene. Latrisha Greene’s attorney Danielle Neroni, however, argued there was insufficient evidence to support the charge.
Judge Matthew Sypniewski agreed with Neroni and found after reviewing the grand jury minutes that there wasn’t sufficient evidence presented to support the charge and he dismissed it.
The Daily Gazette was not aware of the ruling dismissing the tampering charge against Latrisha Greene for a story published Wednesday.
“The evidence submitted to the grand jury was legally insufficient,” Neroni said. “Ms. Greene did not tamper with any physical evidence.”
Regarding the remaining two child endangerment counts, Neroni said Latrisha Greene denies those accusations, as well, and is prepared to take those to trial.
Prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham Wednesday indicated prosecutors had the option to appeal the ruling, but decided against appealing. The decision was made to focus efforts on the two remaining charges that relate directly to Charlie and his brother, as well as to focus on the more complex and serious case against Greene’s husband Dequan Greene.
Dequan Greene is charged with second-degree murder in the Dec. 20 death of 4-year-old Charlie. Both Charlie and his 5-year-old brother had been placed with the Greenes as foster children through the Albany County Department of Social Services and Schenectady County Department of Social Services. The couple had been certified as foster parents.
The boys had been placed with the couple in September and Dequan Greene is accused of causing Charlie’s death by either stepping on the boy’s stomach or stomping on it.
Both boys, however, had injuries and marks all over their bodies of varying ages by the time police and paramedics arrived at the 2734 Broadway home Dec. 20.
Dequan Greene originally told first responders that Charlie had fallen out of a child’s chair, began to slur his speech and then passed out, prosecutors said. He told others that the child choked, prosecutors said.
The investigation revealed Charlie died due to “extensive internal injury to his liver and intestines caused by blunt force trauma,” prosecutors said.
Dequan Greene’s attorney James Tyner said Tuesday his client denies wrongdoing. Tyner called it a terrible accident related to the boy choking.