LIMA — On the day her 4-year-old daughter was laid to rest, Stayce Riley appeared in court and saw criminal charges against her handed over for consideration by an upcoming session of the Allen County grand jury.
Riley, 23, waived her right to a probable cause hearing in Lima Municipal Court on Thursday and Magistrate John Payne ordered the case bound over to Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Riley has been charged with a third-degree felony count of child endangerment in connection with the April 12 death of her daughter, My’Laya Dewitt. Payne said the complaint against Riley alleges she violated her parental duties of care and protection of a child.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Mariah Cunningham said in court that additional criminal charges against the Lima woman are likely.
Officers from the Lima Police Department were dispatched shortly after 2 p.m. on April 12 to 535 N. Elizabeth St. in reference to a report of an unresponsive child. Upon their arrival, officers located the 4-year-old inside the residence. The child was transported to a local hospital, where medical personnel attempted life-saving measures but were unable to revive her.
Initial reports from the Lucas County Coroner’s Office, where an autopsy of the young girl was conducted, indicated DeWitt died of “severe abdominal injuries … that were about a week old,” LPD Detective Sean Neidemire testified during a hearing in municipal court on Tuesday for Romiere Hale, Riley’s 21-year-old live-in boyfriend. He has been charged with murder in the child’s death.
Hale told investigators he had disciplined My’Laya by hitting her in the stomach around April 3, the detective said. He said Riley told investigators that her daughter “was not feeling well” in the week before she was found unresponsive.
Attorney Linda Gabriele, who represented Riley at Thursday’s hearing, asked the magistrate to consider a reduction in her client’s $200,000 cash or surety bond but that request was denied.