An 11-year-old girl in Ohio has been charged with murder after she allegedly beat a 2-month-old baby to death.
A mother, 39, was babysitting her friend’s 2-month-old baby, Zuri Whitehead, on Thursday night at the 39-year-old’s house in Wickliffe, which is north of Cleveland. She offered to babysit for her best friend, Trina Whitehead, who she met in 2008 while working at a medical clinic, to give the mother with 3 other children a break.
The 39-year-old woman is the mother of the 11-year-old girl, who told the mother that she wanted to have a sleepover with the 2-month-old, leading her to call her best friend at 9:30pm on Thursday and offer to keep Zuri overnight.
The girl’s mother fell asleep at 3 a.m. on a couch downstairs with the baby on one side, and her daughter on the other side.
It was then that the 11-year-old girl took the 2-month-old Zuri Whitehead to a different room upstairs and beat the infant.
Less than an hour later, the woman said she was woken up by her daughter, who was holding the infant and told her that there was something wrong with the baby. The baby appeared to be badly beaten with her head swollen, leading the woman to call 911 immediately. The 2-month-old was airlifted to a children’s trauma center in Cleveland, where she died on Friday during internal surgery.
An autopsy later revealed that the baby suffered massive blunt-force trauma to the brain, liver, spleen and kidney, according to Wickliffe Police Chief Randy Ice who spoke about the event at a news conference, Buzzfeed reports.
The 11-year-old girl is one of the youngest held at the county’s juvenile detention center, where 13 is typically the youngest age of suspects held there.
Neither her or her mother seemed remorseful. “I’m not sure she appreciated the gravity of what she did,” Ice said about the child.
Although, the mother did call her best friend and apologized. “She called and said she’s sorry for what happened,” Whitehead said. “She can’t believe what’s going on.”
The mother of the deceased baby girl said that the 11-year-old seemed like a normal, sweet girl.
“I definitely trusted her,” Whitehead said. “I never thought my baby would be put in some type of harm.”
Police said the middle school where the girl attends called them once for an incident related to the 11-year-old, but it was nonviolent.
The girl is being held without bond and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before her next appearance in court.
She cannot be tried as an adult in Ohio, where a child must be at least 14 to be charged as an adult, but the girl could be sentenced to a state Department of Youth Services facility until age 21. Her mother will not be charged.