The 14-year-old White Oak boy accused in the suffocation death of his infant sister is facing adult-level first-degree murder charges that his lawyer plans to fight.
Larissa Yanes, 7 months old, died of asyphxia early in the morning of Feb. 9 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. 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 girl whom she thought had been sleeping, police said.
The boy, whose name will not be reported 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 her to cry. Police said that he admitted to holding his hands over the baby's mouth and nose until she stopped crying.
The boy was charged with first-degree murder in the death, a charge that must be tried through the adult court system and carries a life sentence, said Mary Siegfried, deputy district public defender in Maryland's District 6 court, who is representing the teen.
Siegfried's client was denied bond on Feb. 11, The Gazette reported, but the boy was moved from an adult jail to a juvenile facility after the review, Siegfried told Patch.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22, where Siegfried will argue that the boy's charges should be reduced, which, if the state's attorney's office agrees, would automatically transfer the case from the adult court system to the juvenile courts, Siegfried said.
If the state's attorney's office doesn't agree to reduce the defendant's charges, Siegfried said she will file a motion to transfer the case to the juvenile system.
"I dont believe he should be charged as an adult at all," Siegfried said, "It doesn't seem that there's any evidence to support that [first-degree charge]."
The baby's funeral was held Thursday morning at St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring.