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14-Year-Old May Be Tried as Adult in Infant Death

Teen's attorney will argue that first-degree murder charges should be reduced.

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.

ilkunta February 15, 2013 at 07:00 PM
obviously the police asked Johnathan what happened, that is natural. however the teen's mother nor father was there so he was questioned illegally. i dont think he was mirandized. the confession should be inadmissable. plus with all this media how will an impartial jury be found ? i hope mo co county or MD State will give counseling to not just the teen but his parents as well. This is very sad. A 7mo old is very hard for an adult; so for teen Jonathan it must have been tough. Plus Johnathan was also caring for his 3yr old sister. I wish them all strength. Very Very Very sad.
Whitney Teal February 16, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Hi, we aren't referencing the teen by name, lilkunta, because he is a minor. for further comments, please don't use first or last names, thanks!
debbie February 16, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Agreed this child should not be tried as an adult. It is a symptom of this economy and our values as Americans that children are caring for children while their parents are working. A 14 year does not have the emotional maturity to tolerate what is hard for an adult.
Joe Galvagna February 16, 2013 at 03:38 PM
He killed a baby you ass holes that is murder he should be tried as a murderer and put away for life. Where is the justice for the baby. Let's hold our hands over the attorneys mouth untilled he or she stops breathing and see how they like it. You people make me suck. This boy is sick and society needs to be protected from him. He admitts beating the baby. What kind of animal beats a 7 month old. I also blame the parents you had this baby with already two children you are at fault, for this loss as well.
Jennifer February 17, 2013 at 06:09 AM
I'm sorry but his mother should have known better then to leave her teenage son in charge on an infant baby. It is hard enough for adults to handle let alone a child. I think the Mother should face charges.

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