Another twist in the tragic slaying of 14-year-old Ebony Dorsey unfolded yesterday as the teen's mother surrendered to face charges that she had put her daughter in harm's way.
Danielle Cattie, 34, of Ambler, is charged with endangering the welfare of children, possession of a controlled substance and possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia, according to the police criminal complaint released yesterday.
"The fact that she allowed her 14-year-old to go with a man that she knew to be under the influence would be enough to arrest her . . . but the drug charges as well are what led to her arrest," said First Assistant District Attorney Risa Ferman.
Authorities said Ebony Dorsey was strangled and sexually assaulted Dec. 7 by Cattie's boyfriend, Mark O'Donnell. Her body was found two days later, stuffed in a blue tub behind a house in Blue Bell owned by one of O'Donnell's relatives.
An affidavit of probable cause released yesterday said Cattie had provided police with details of her drug use and allowed them to search her home, telling them where to find certain drug paraphernalia.
Police found 41 multicolored bags containing a white powdery substance, two metal spoons and an aluminum straw that was burnt on one end, the affidavit said.
Cattie told police that O'Donnell delivered six of the baggies to her the same day that Ebony was killed and that the two spoons were used to convert the cocaine to crack. The straw allegedly was used to smoke the drug.
The affidavit further stated that Cattie admitted using cocaine for several years and recently had been buying it from O'Donnell and smoking it with him in her bedroom while her children were downstairs.
Ferman said that Cattie's willingness to provide police with information helped investigators solve Ebony's case.
"She told them everything, including the fact that she had done drugs and that O'Donnell had provided her with the drugs," Ferman said.
Ferman said that despite Cattie's candor with the police, she had to be held accountable for her actions.
"However, she did suffer a terrible loss and there is no penalty that the court system could ever impose upon her that would be greater than the loss of her daughter," Ferman said.
Cattie told the Daily News last Thursday, "Yes, a bad decision was made, but that doesn't change the fact that I love my daughter."
Cattie was released on $10,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing was set for Dec. 28.
Ferman said that the felony endangerment charge carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison and that each of the drug charges could carry a maximum sentence of one year each. *
Staff writers Gloria Campisi and Damon Williams contributed to this report.