No-show social worker gets 11 years in starvation death

    Danieal Kelly suffered from cerebral palsy and was found emaciated and covered in bedsores in 2006

    A federal judge sentenced an absentee social worker to 11 years in prison for failing to visit a disabled teen as she starved to death at home. Fourteen-year-old Danieal Kelly suffered from cerebral palsy and was found emaciated and covered in bedsores in 2006.

    Judge Stewart Dalzell said out of the long list of professionals responsible for Danieal Kelly’s death, Julius Murray actually killed her. Murray failed to perform his required biweekly visits to Danieal Kelly and later forged documents as part of a cover-up. Dalzell said that although Kelly’s mother and father didn’t “give a damn,” Murray was actually paid “to give a damn.”

    Murray had escaped a brutal civil war in his native Sierra Leone and had earned advanced degrees in mathematics and physics. His defense attorney Will Spade says he doesn’t know why his client failed to perform his job.

    “You know in my mind that’s the big disconnect to this whole thing, which is, you have these people Dr. Kamuvaka, Soloman Manamela, Julius Murray. You know they all had advanced degrees and how could they have dropped the ball on this, and I don’t have an answer to that I really don’t.”

    Multi-Ethnic Behavioral Health had a contract with the city to provide services to needy children but failed to visit many clients over the course of six years. Assistant U-S Attorney Bea Witzleban says it comes down to money.

    “Well we really have no way of knowing what was in their hearts and minds when they took the contract. But at some point along the way, it became more important for them to keep the company going than to provide services to the children.”

    Judge Dalzell referred to the long list of service providers who failed to help Danieal Kelly as the “banality of evil.”

    Kelly’s mother is serving time for third degree murder. Nine employees of Multi-Ethnic Behavioral Health have been convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice.

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