Report: White Oak Teen Murder Charges Reduced in Baby Death
The case of a 14-year-old accused of suffocating his baby sister has moved to juvenile court, the Gazette reports.
The case of a 14-year-old White Oak boy accused of murdering his baby sister has moved to juvenile court, The Gazette reports.
The teen was charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 8 death of his 7-month-old sister who died of asyphxia at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.
A first-degree murder charge must be handled through the adult court system because it carries a life sentence, said Mary Siegfried, deputy district public defender in Maryland's District 6 court. She is representing the teen.
The newspaper reports that charges were reduced to second-degree murder and the teen's case will be transferred to the juvenile court system.
Police responded to the siblings' home, in the 11600 block of Lockwood Drive, at 6:30 a.m. after the child's mother was unable to wake the baby whom she thought had been sleeping, police said.
The boy, whose name has not been published by Patch because of his age, had been watching his sister since around 10:30 p.m. the previous night when his mother left for work, police said. He told officers that he beat his sister while his mother was away, causing the baby to cry. Police said that he admitted to holding his hands over the baby's mouth and nose until she stopped crying.
"I don't believe he should be charged as an adult at all," Siegfried told Patch in February. "It doesn't seem that there's any evidence to support that [first-degree charge]."
Some injuries thought to be on the baby's body were later reportedly deemed to be the result of insects.