The accused 10-year-old Wisconsin girl "panicked and ... proceeded to stomp on the 6-month-old's head," leading to his death, prosecutors said Monday

By Chris Harris
November 06, 2018 11:03 AM

A 10-year-old Wisconsin girl faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge in the death of a 6-month-old baby boy, who died last week from multiple skull fractures, PEOPLE confirms.

The girl has been charged as an adult but not yet identified by authorities. Her case is likely to move to juvenile court but, because she is at least 10, the charge was required to begin in adult court, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

She appeared in court on Monday where she sobbed into her mother’s arms. She did not plead to the charge against her. She remains in jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond.

In court, prosecutors described the baby’s death as the result of panic, spiraling into violence.

Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell told the court that the girl accidentally dropped the baby, who hit his head on a stool and started crying.

“She panicked and didn’t know what to do and didn’t want to get into trouble,” Newell said, “and then she proceeded to stomp on the 6-month-old’s head.”

A statement from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office confirms the infant — who also has not been named — died on Thursday from injuries that were initially inflicted Oct. 30.

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It was just before 4 p.m. that day when dispatchers handled a call out of Tilden regarding an infant male who was bleeding from head and facial wounds.

Officers arrived at a day care run out of a home where they found the infant, who was subsequently transported to an area hospital and then airlifted to St. Paul, Minnesota.

Medical specialists told detectives that the baby’s injuries, including skull fractures, were “consistent with child abuse, not by accidental circumstances.”

In an interview with police, the woman who runs the day care said she had been watching six children, including the 10-year-old girl and the infant.

The baby was napping, the woman explained, so she instructed the children to stay outside, according to the sheriff’s office. But the 10-year-old girl was seen inside the home shortly before the boy was found bleeding.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk tells PEOPLE the preteen suspect was in foster care before noting privacy concerns bar him from discussing the circumstances surrounding why the girl was removed from her biological parents’ care.

The girl was being fostered by the day care provider, Amber Sweeney, who refused to speak to PEOPLE. A prosecution source tells PEOPLE the girl was removed from her biological parents’ custody sometime in September.

The girl’s mother and father did accompany her to court for Monday’s hearing, Kowalczyk says.

Detectives recovered a dozen items from the home that could have been used to hurt the baby.

The day after the boy’s death, the girl “initially denied any intentional acts in harming the infant, but later confessed to her involvement,” sheriff’s officials allege.

It was unclear Tuesday if an attorney has been retained for her.

Kowalczyk says detectives are not considering charges against the day care provider but notes the investigation continues.