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10-Year-Old Girl Charged as an Adult for Murder of Baby

In October of 2018, a 10-year-old girl at a daycare center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin picked up a 6-month-old baby. Somehow, she lost her hold on the child and dropped him. When he started crying, she stomped on his head to quiet him down.

Reckless Homicide Charges

The baby was taken to the hospital, where he died two days later from his injuries. The 10-year-old was initially charged with reckless homicide. Under Wisconsin statute 940.02, a person commits this offense when they cause someone else’s death and showed disregard for human life. The crime is a Class B felony, which is punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

However, an autopsy revealed that she had stomped on the child’s head 7 times before she put him back in his crib, covered him up, and went back outside to play.

First-Degree Homicide Charges

In August of 2019, after the incident and the girl’s circumstances were investigated further, the charges were raised to first-degree intentional homicide. This offense occurs when a person carries out actions that are intended to cause the death of another. It is a Class A felony, the most severe offense classification, and could result in a lifetime prison sentence.

The girl is being tried as an adult. Her next court hearing is scheduled for October 10, 2019.

Attempt to Dismiss the Case

In January of 2019, because of the girl’s age, her attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case, stating that she’s too young to fully understand what her actions meant and what the consequences would be. After the incident, the girl told her mother that killing the baby was an accident.

Intentional or Accidental?

The baby’s father said that he could understand the accidental dropping of his son. However, when the girl stomped on the boy’s head to get him to stop crying, that went beyond an unintentional act. She might not have intended to kill him the first time she stepped on his head, but doing it repeatedly showed that she had disregard for the boy’s life.

The girl’s mother contends that her daughter did not mean to do irreparable harm and, as a child, does not process certain events and actions the same way an adult would.

The mother stated that her daughter had mental health problems and had expressed intentions to kill herself. She tried to get help for the girl but was turned down because of her age, which is why she was in the county-licensed daycare where the incident happened.

The girl is currently being held in the Winnebago Mental Health Institute and has been ruled unfit to stand trial. Proceedings could resume if she becomes competent to appear in court, which could happen with medication and treatment.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella for the Legal Defense You Need

If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a criminal offense in Milwaukee, it’s crucial to seek skilled legal representation as soon as possible. Our attorney has the experience and knowledge to competently handle your case and will work tirelessly toward getting charges reduced or dropped.

Speak with us by calling (414) 882-8382 or schedule a free consultation by contacting us online.

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