JEFFERSON — The mother of a child whose died while under the care of two babysitters took a plea in the case.
Beverly Santiago, 35, of Orwell, pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of endangering children, court records state. A charge of involuntary manslaughter was dismissed in her case. Santiago’s attorney, Gary Pasqualone, declined to comment.
Santiago’s son Brantley Santiago, 3, died April 27, 2018 and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office ruled his death a homicide in August.
Brantley Santiago was being babysat by Valorie Olah, 56, and her daughter Samantha Olah, 25, who each face two counts of murder, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of felonious assault and two counts of endangering children.
The pair are accused of murder in the case of the toddler who died in the spring of 2018 from injuries he sustained in what they said was an accidental fall that was later ruled a homicide. Samantha Olah has a jury trial set for July 13 and her mother’s trial is set for June 8.
On April 25, 2018, the Olahs reported to the Orwell Police Department that Brantley Santiago had fallen down a flight of steps in their residence and was seriously injured. He was taken to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland and died two days later.
Prosecutors have said evidence exists to show that the child exhibited other injuries sustained while in the care of the Olahs prior to April 25, 2018 incident.
Prosecutors had said Beverly Santiago was charged as a result of her violating her duty of care and protection of her child by placing Brantley in the care of the Olahs after being aware that the child had pre-existing suspicious injuries while in their care, and having been directed by a pediatrician only a few days prior to the incident to avoid using the Olahs for child care purposes any further.
The boy’s death is also the subject of a lawsuit filed in April 2019 by his father, Nicholas Santiago, against the Olahs, Beverly Santiago, University Hospitals, Chardon Pediatrics and several medical professionals. A trial in the lawsuit, which has been referred to mediation, is scheduled for June 16 before Judge Thomas Harris, court records state.