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Wednesday, 18 May 2022 – The heartbreaking details of a little 9 year old girl, Shalom Guifarro has been revealed by prosecutors at her mother Shemene Cato’s arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday, May 17 where she was ordered held without bail.
“Mommy, help me” Shalom Guifarro screamed as she lay dying in her family’s Brooklyn apartment, after enduring hours of abuse allegedly at the hands of her mother, who should have saved her.
Shemene Cato, 48, has been charged with murder, manslaughter, assault and other crimes in the death of Shalom, her youngest daughter – over a missing tablet on Sunday morning, May 15.
Shalom was hiding from her angry mother, who spent two hours flogging her and her 13-year-old sister with an electric extension cord and broom inside their Lincoln Place apartment, prosecutors said.
But the spot Shalom was hiding from her mother who was in a maniac state was where she died.
“The defendant lifted up the bed, attempting to pull the child out from underneath,” said Assistant District Attorney David Ingle in court.
“The bed dropped on Shalom… The bed fell onto her head.”
After Cato dropped the bed on her daughter, the child was still, prosecutors said.
“Shalom could not stand up, was non-responsive and kept saying, ‘Mommy, help me,’” said Ingle.
Around 1 p.m. Shalom’s older sister called police.
The little girl suffered multiple blunt force injuries to her head and body, and bled to death internally, the city Medical Examiner’s Office said.
Cato came to the court Tuesday in pajama bottoms and pink flip flops.
She was silent and showed little emotion throughout the proceedings.
The killing shocked members of the Crown Heights community, who regularly saw Cato and her two daughters in the neighborhood.
“She [Cato] was regular. She would have a conversation, we would talk,” Torres said, recalling that she asked him how she could improve her credit.
“Everybody says she was always verbally abusive with the child. I never saw that. I always saw her with the child like a mom, taking care of her kids,” Rev. Pedro Torres, a pastor who lives in the neighborhood says.
“She really had no worries in the world. Always smiling and funny,” he said. “I remember the time when I gave her the doll. The next day she saw me and she gave me a hug. She was very appreciative,” he said.