Fearing jail, he let tot die
Monday, September 20th, 2004

The father of the 3-year-old boy whose body was found in a bag outside a Queens church refused to get help for the dying child because he feared going back to prison, authorities charged yesterday.

In a detailed confession, ex-con William Lee, 38, told cops he never called 911 because he had outstanding arrest warrants for drug possession and stolen property, Brooklyn prosecutor David Klestzick said.

"Throughout the course of the day, the defendant did not seek any medical attention for [his son] Marcus," Klestzick told Supreme Court Justice John Walsh. "Instead, the defendant left Marcus unconscious in his crib until Marcus finally died."

Lee, who has a lengthy rap sheet, pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful disposal of a body. He was ordered held on $100,000 bail.

He has not been charged with killing the boy, as an autopsy was inconclusive. Additional tests could take weeks.

Investigators believe that Marcus died Sept. 9, after his mother, Ann Marie Mackey, left him and his three siblings in their father's care inside her filthy Bedford-Stuyvesant home.

The stench of dog feces overwhelmed the squalid Madison St. apartment yesterday.

Soiled mattresses, piles of clothes and abandoned toys lay on the floor of the three-bedroom flat, as roaches scurried up the walls and tiny flies buzzed around a bowl of pancake mix.

In the bathroom, 2 inches of dirty water covered the bottom of a corroded tub.

The apartment was no place to rear a child - and Marcus, who had cerebral palsy, seemed to be at his happiest when he was outside his home.

"All you had to do was close the door and Marcus would have a fit," said Lisa Darns, 36, who lives on the third floor.

As many as four pit bulls lived inside the now deserted apartment with Marcus, his siblings and their mother, Darns said.

Lee spent most nights in a trailer in an auto-body yard in Queens. But he sneaked back to the Brooklyn flat wearing wigs and ridiculous disguises to avoid cops, neighbors said.

"It was hell," Darns said.

Marcus' body was found Friday in a bag left on the steps of Friendship Baptist Church. The bag also contained a rambling note from Lee denying responsibility.

Lee allegedly buried his son inside the bag days after he died, then dug the bag back up and placed it on the church steps. Hours later, Lee turned himself in.

He admitted hitting Marcus - but only to stop his seizures, law enforcement sources said.

Lee's 6-year-old son chillingly told cops last week, "Daddy killed Marcus." The boy and Marcus' two other siblings have been placed in foster care. Orders of protection signed yesterday prohibit Lee from contacting the children or their mother.