The roach-infested Harlem apartment where 6-year-old Zymere Perkins spent the last year of his life in squalor was shown to jurors at his accused killer’s murder trial Wednesday.
Pill bottles, empty cigarette packs and dirty clothing littered the floor of the unfurnished and decrepit living room on W. 135th St. where the slain boy slept in on a makeshift bed, as seen in a video played in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Zymere was beaten with a broken broomstick by his mother’s boyfriend Rysheim Smith on Sept. 26, 2016, and hung to die on the back of a bathroom door, prosecutors said.
Jurors were shown video of a bucket filled with what appeared to be urine and feces in Zymere’s room. The rug was crawling with maggots because flies laid eggs in excrement embedded in the carpet, Assistant District Attorney Kerry O’Connell said.
Prosecutors allege an enraged Smith fatally pummeled the little boy because he hid stool in the living room.
The bathroom where Smith allegedly hung Zymere on the door after beating him with the broom is seen on the recording, along with a broken toilet, a filthy bathtub, and holes in the ceilings and walls.
Zymere and his mother, Geraldine Perkins, moved into the third-floor apartment Smith was illegally squatting in, about a year before the child’s death, according to prosecutors.
The room the couple slept in is notably clean in comparison to the rest of the apartment — their bed made and belongings neatly stored away, the 10 minute long video showed.
Smith faces murder and other related charges for Zymere’s death and a maximum of life in prison if convicted. He may take the stand in his own defense.
Perkins pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is expected to take the stand against her ex-boyfriend on Monday.
Zymere’s death exposed egregious misconduct at the Administration for Children’s Services. The agency’s then-commissioner Gladys Carrion stepped down in the wake of his death.
Peter Alexander, a criminal justice coordinator at ACS, testified Wednesday that the agency received five complaints alleging Zymere was neglected and physically abused between 2010 and 2015, a complaint for almost every year of the boy’s life.
The day Zymere was born, marijuana was detected in Perkins’ system, putting her on the city’s radar, Alexander said.
The agency would receive four more allegations of abuse and neglect in the years to come from the boy’s teachers and family friends.