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Slain child's father sues Nassau for negligence

Feb 29, 2008 | Newsday

The father of Jewell Ward, one of the three children allegedly killed in their New Cassel home Sunday by their mother, is suing Nassau County, claiming its "negligence, carelessness and recklessness" led to a failure to prevent the tragedy.

Rickey Ward, of Hempstead, who is being represented by the Mineola firm of Parker Waichman LLP, filed a notice of claim that he will seek $50 million. The notice names Nassau County, its Child Protective Services, and its Department of Social Services as the defendants.

Nassau County Attorney Lorna Goodman said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Attorney Jerrold S. Parker said the suit's initial goal is to require Nassau investigators to preserve, and eventually make available, all evidence in the death of Ward's 6-year-old daughter, as well as the girl's two slain younger brothers. The father of the two younger children, Michael Demesyeux, 5, and Innocent Demesyeux, 18 months, is also named Innocent Demesyeux.

Ward's attorneys contend that the county bore some responsibility in the deaths by not sharing information among agencies regarding Brewer's criminal and mental health history, and by not sending a CPS worker to the home on Saturday after receiving calls from Innocent Demesyeux claiming that Brewer was using drugs and threatening to harm the children.

Ward's attorneys said that had the county agencies done their jobs, the children would have been removed from the home and alive today.

"In doing nothing, they sacrificed these children," said. "This woman was a ticking time bomb, and they ignored her."

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