An aunt of a 3-year-old boy is now behind bars after fatally beating him for not being able to spell. Christen Dale, 21, admitted to beating Ethan Ali because he was flunking spelling lessons she was giving him. Dale also admitted to whooping her nephew with a belt for a week, before he died.


The day before Ethan was found dead, Dale punished him after he refused to do his spelling lessons. Dale made him him stand in the corner holding a bottle with outstretched arms for 45 minutes until he fell forward and smashed his lip.

The next day, the boy refused to do more work, and she once again gave him a beating with a belt. An autopsy showed he “suffered extensive bruising on his torso, back, buttocks, thighs, arms, and scalp,” according to court records.

Dale, who was ordered held without bail after getting arraigned for manslaughter and assault charges, was looking after the boy for the past few months.


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