2008_06_ksmith2.jpgFamily members mourning the death of a 3-year-old child at the hands of a family friend who was caring for him are speaking out, including the child's mother.

Kyle Smith died last Friday, with extensive injuries including broken bones, cigarettes burns all over his body, and tearing from sexual abuse. His godmother Nymeem Cheatham and her boyfriend Lemar Martin admitted to beating the child and were arrested and are being held without bail.

Kyle's mother Eugenia Holmes, spoke to WABC 7's Jim Hoffer, explaining how she gave Kyle to Cheatham as she tried to get over her drug addiction:

Holmes: "It wasn't like there was other people offering to help, and I just decided I'm going to give him to her."
Hoffer: "You thought you could trust her?"
Holmes: "Yeah, this was someone I knew for years. It wasn't like she came out of the blue and this was someone that I had moved back to New York and recently came in contact with."

Holmes added she knew Cheatham loved Kyle and didn't realize Cheatham's own biological children had been taken away from her in Texas. And when asked if she blames herself for her son's death, Holmes, who has since cleaned up and works as a restaurant manager in South Carolina, "Yeah, I blame myself sometimes for not being strong enough to do it. We all played a part in not caring for him at one point or another and not supporting him."

Kyle's maternal grandmother Beverly Creighton railed against Cheatham in an interview with WCBS 2, "She had no right to do it to my grandson. I will kill her right there in the courtroom!" And Kyle's paternal grandmother Norma Acosta said Cheatham never seemed to understand the arrangement was temporary.

The child's father Elliot Smith says he tried to get custody of Kyle, but he went to court without a lawyer and felt overwhelmed. Smith already cares for his and Holmes' other son, a 6-year-old, and said he told him about Kyle's death two days ago, "I had to break it to him. I told him as much as I could to comfort him."