A 12-year-old Florida boy is facing charges after police say he smothered to death his 4-month-old nephew to stop him from crying, PEOPLE confirms.
Police in West Palm Beach say officers and paramedics answered the call last Dec. 2 for the unresponsive boy who later was pronounced dead at St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Days afterward, the 12-year-old allegedly approached an officer at his school and wrote on a piece of paper, “I killed my nephew,” reports CBS12.com.
During the investigation the 12-year-old allegedly confessed that he placed a pillow over the infant’s face because he wouldn’t stop crying, police said.
An order was issued July 11 to pick up the 12-year-old on a charge of manslaughter, and he was arrested on Wednesday without incident and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
No explanation was given for the seven-month delay between the incident and the arrest, nor did police share details about who, if anyone, was supervising the children at the time the incident occurred.
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In court Thursday, the preteen was ordered held on home detention by Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kroll, who also ordered that he not have any unsupervised contact with children younger than 10 year old, reports The Palm Beach Post.
Prosecutors have 21 days to decide whether they will charge the 12-year-old as an adult, reports WPTV. If so, that charge would carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
In a Facebook post after the infant died, his aunt remarked that it felt like a “cruel joke,” reports The Palm Beach Post.
“I miss kissing on you and seeing you smile. I miss your laugh. Nobody will ever understand our bond. It was something special about you,” she wrote. “They say you aren’t supposed to question god but I just want to know why you.”
The infant’s mother wrote: “God made sure I brought in the year with my own personal angel so I know it’s going to be a good year.”
No plea has been entered and it was not known whether the 12-year-old has retained an attorney.