Two Massena residents charged with manslaughter in beating death of 3-year-old

Nov. 30—MASSENA — A 3-year-old child whom police say was beaten and neglected by two Massena residents this week has died, and the couple charged Tuesday now face felony first-degree manslaughter counts. Other charges are pending.

Kayden Flowers died at 9:02 a.m. Thursday at the University of Vermont Medical Center, where he had been airlifted on Tuesday.

With a crowd of about 30 people gathered outside the Massena Police Department on Main Street, Jovannie Vega, 24, and Kayden's biological mother Kaitlin Cyrus, 23, were arraigned separately by Massena Town Justice Joseph Brown on the manslaughter charge Thursday afternoon. Both pleaded not guilty and were sent back to the St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, without bail. Kayden's biological father resides in Massachusetts, according to Massena Police Detective Michael J. O'Brien.

Attorneys had asked Brown to release Cyrus under the supervision of the probation department and to set reasonable bail for Vega.

They had been held at the county jail without bail since their arraignment by Brown Tuesday on felony charges of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment. Cyrus had also been charged with reckless assault.

O'Brien said they had responded to a 911 call at 8:37 a.m. Tuesday. Police said no complaints of abuse had been made to the department prior to this week's incident.

In his written statement, O'Brien said Vega had thrown Kayden into the bedroom wall and slammed him several times onto the ground at their home at 16 Francis St., Lot 44. Cyrus is accused of allowing Vega "to engage in ongoing physical abuse of the three-year-old victim" and "failed to seek aid and did not seek medical attention for said child for approximately 48 hours" after the incident, O'Brien wrote.

Kayden suffered a broken femur, broken arm, lacerated liver, brain bleed, severe brain swelling and loss of brain function.

"Said actions ultimately caused the death of the three-year-old victim," O'Brien wrote.