LocalSYR

Mom speaks out one year after 3-year-old son's murder

Ceritha Hammond had a bad feeling when she dropped her three-year-old son off with his father for a visit last November. It was the last time she saw him alive.
3-year-old Ameen Washington
3-year-old Ameen Washington
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Ceritha Hammond had a bad feeling when she dropped her three-year-old son off with his father for a visit last November. It was the last time she saw him alive.

“I’ve been empty. I’ve been wishing he was here next to me, so I could feel joy again, feel life again. He was my everything,” Ceritha said.

She remembers Marcel Washington talking about plans to move to another city where he could make more money for their son. The couple separated when Ameen was six months old. Hammond was in a new relationship and pregnant with her second child. During his final weekend with Ameen, police say Washington held his son under a steady stream of water until he stopped moving.

"He maliciously caused the death of his own child, with his own hands,” said Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler, while announcing the arrest on November 6, 2011.

Washington's friends said he was behaving oddly, hearing voices, showing early signs of a sudden mental illness. Hammond believes her son, the victim, was forgotten as so many rushed to his father's defense.

"What I don't understand is why they didn't bring it to me. I am his mother. Why would I want my son around a person who is hearing voices?” Ceritha told NewsChannel 9.

Hammond doesn't know how to define justice. She'd like to see Marcel Washington spend the rest of his life in jail. The District Attorney’s Office describes this case as very complicated. It’s still under active investigation by a grand jury. Hammond would like to see Marcell Washington go to trial soon. Regardless of the outcome, she will always feel cheated.

"I always took him everywhere and played with him. He was my best friend for the short three years that I had him,” Ceritha said.

After a year, Ceritha Hammond is a mother again. She was pregnant when Ameen died and is hoping his little brother learns more about Ameen's spirit than his death.

'I would love to see my son being remembered as a beautiful, great child instead of being under the wing of some man that murdered him,” Ceritha continued.

A year after being charged for his son's death, Washington is still locked up at the Justice Center without bail.

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