Father Charged in 1-Year-Old Daughter’s Stabbing Death

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The New York Sun

A Brooklyn man was arrested yesterday for allegedly stabbing his 1-year-old daughter to death, just weeks after an order of protection against him expired. City officials acknowledge they were in the process of helping the man’s family obtain a new order of protection against Dwayne Palmer, 32, who police said had been arrested repeatedly for domestic disputes with his family.

Mr. Palmer was arrested just over 12 hours after police allege he stabbed his daughter to death and also slashed her mother multiple times. Last night, he was charged with murder, attempted murder, and criminal possession of a weapon, and police said he had undergone a psychiatric evaluation.

Police found 1-year-old Samara Palmer and her mother, whom neighbors identified as Natasha Martin, each with multiple stab wounds inside their Canarsie apartment around 1:15 a.m.

According to police, the baby was stabbed twice in the chest and died around 2:15 a.m. at Brookdale Hospital. An autopsy yesterday indicated she died of hemorrhaging due to perforations of the heart and left lung after being stabbed multiple times in the torso, a spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner’s office said.

Police said Ms. Martin had been stabbed in the head, neck, and back. Police were unable to determine as of last night whether Ms. Martin and Mr. Palmer were ever married, although police said they did not currently live together.

Police indicated Mr. Palmer had been fighting with Ms. Martin before the stabbing, and that the couple had a history of domestic disputes.

Ms. Martin obtained an order of protection against Mr. Palmer that expired on May 1, police said. Police said she also filed four domestic incident reports, including one in April 2005 and in October 2005. Police arrested Mr. Palmer in both incidents, although police and court officials said his record is sealed.

A spokeswoman for the city’s Administration for Children’s Services, Sheila Stainback, declined to discuss the agency’s prior involvement with the family.

But city officials familiar with the case said ACS had been working with Ms. Martin to obtain another order of protection.

“As of June 7, 2006, city authorities were working to protect the woman and her family against further incidents of abuse at the hands of the father,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not part of an agency directly involved in the case.

The New York Sun

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