CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Family members of a woman indicted in the death of her son during a fire earlier this year say they don’t understand why she’s being punished.
Amari Campbell, 3, died at the end of February after a fire broke out in the West End apartment where his mother had left him in the care of his wheelchair-bound grandmother.
Firefighters said they thought the child was lighting incense when a couch caught on fire. They found him hiding under a bed and pulled him from the apartment. Neighbors rescued his grandmother.
A grand jury indicted 24-year-old Angela Campbell, the boy’s mother, on March 29 on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. The prosecutor’s office said Angela should have known her mother could not sufficiently care for the boy.
Angela’s aunt, Donna Campbell says Angela is a single mother who was working to provide for her son and that Angela’s mother was perfectly capable of taking care of Amari.
“It’s very painful for a mother to lose her child, and now for the mother to lose her freedom in the middle of a pandemic... No schools are open. No preschool. There’s no child care available. Where is she supposed to take her child? She needs to work and care for her family,” Donna said. “Wouldn’t you take your child to your parent?”
Donna calls the charges an injustice.
“It’s just a tragedy, a tragedy of justice to have a 24-year-old mother grieving like this.”
Angela remains at the Hamilton County Justice Center. A judge set her bond at $500,000.
“She went to work like any single parent would,” said Laqueda Campbell, another of Angela’s cousins. “Being a single parent is already hard. Being a young mom is already hard. Being a mom of a toddler is already hard. And to think, to just go to work and leave my kid with my mom and something tragic happens, and now I’m being punished... It makes no sense.”
The prosecutor’s office says it has no official statement on the case at this time.
“He loved his grandma,” Laqueda said of Amari. “She took care of everyone. It makes no sense. We don’t understand what’s going on or how we got here. Could you imagine your support system supporting you and then you getting in trouble for it?”
Angela’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 11.
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