The two men accused of ending the life of 13-year-old autistic boy Jonathan Carey were indicted in Albany County Court on Wednesday, Feb. 21 on counts of manslaughter in the second degree and criminally negligent homicide.
The two employees of O.D. Heck, Edwin Tirado and Nadeem Mall, were arrested on Thursday, Feb. 15, after police said they reported a medical emergency 90 minutes after Carey had allegedly been suffocated while being restrained in the back of the van they were transporting him in on Central Avenue in Colonie.
The two men had taken Jonathan and another 14-year-old Heck resident to Crossgates Mall, said Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider. At approximately 6:30 p.m., the van left the mall and began heading west on Central Avenue toward Schenectady. Mall stopped to use an ATM when Tirado allegedly began struggling with Jonathan after he began acting up, eventually causing his death, said Heider.
Colonie police said the men, both of Schenectady, allegedly even stopped at one of their homes to corroborate their stories before reporting Jonathan's death.
The indictment alleges that the two men inappropriately restrained the victim, and by physically compressing the victim's body with their own bodies, caused Carey to stop breathing. Additionally, despite legal obligations, the men failed to render aid or summon medical attention.
The care for the most vulnerable members of our society is a sacred trust, said District Attorney David Soares. "The callous disregard for human life shown by these two defendants is an affront to every parent, child or family member struggling to care for a dependant relegated to the care of a social service agency."
Michael and Lisa Carey, Jonathan's parents, have publicly forgiven the two men.
"We have forgiven them both from our hearts, that's what the Scripture says to do," said Michael, speaking at his son's funeral on the same day as the indictment. "We love them and we're praying for them and we ask that you pray for Edwin and Nadeem, too."
Lisa Carey said, the day after the funeral, that she would like to know why the men did what they did, and despite her forgiveness, said, "They still need to face justice for what they've done."
If convicted on all counts, the defendants each face a maximum term in state prison of 15 years.