Lousiana girl, 12, arrested for murder of infant brother, faces juvenile life sentence: 'She loved the baby'
The 12-year-old-girl has been arrested on one count of first degree murder, and faces a prison sentence of almost a decade
ST CHARLES PARISH, LOUISIANA: The local community is reeling from the news of a 12-year-old girl being arrested on charges of homicide, after her 6-month-old brother was found dead. Sources confirm that police have found that the baby was hit, and the girl has now been booked for alleged murder.
The sheriff's office is keeping information close to the chest, and waited three days to release any information about the crime and about the older sister's arrest. According to the investigators, when the paramedics arrived at the crime scene, the infant was not breathing, and could not be revived. "This is a horrific and tragic situation. The homicide did not involve the use of a dangerous weapon. Due to sensitivity of both the victim and suspect being juveniles, we are unable to comment any further. We have been in constant contact with the 29th Judicial District Attorney’s Office throughout the course of this investigation," said Sheriff Greg Champagne in a written statement.
An autopsy that was performed on the victim ruled that the death was a homicide. Additionally, sources have told WWL-TV that the child had been hit. The children's aunt, Nicole Brown, spoke to the news station about the tragedy. Her words seem to contradict those who believe the older child murdered the younger one. "He was perfect," Brown said. "He was a beautiful baby, and she loved her brother. She loved her brother. What happened, happened. I’m sorry that it happened. Nobody can change it."
Brown also asked people not to judge the child's mother, who remains unnamed, calling attention to the trying time that the children's mother is going through, and asking for people's compassion. "This is a mother who’s lost two children, not just one," Brown said. "That’s both of her children. You understand. People are very, very judgmental, but sometimes you’ve got to look within. It could be you tomorrow."
The older sister has been arrested on one count of first-degree murder, and the investigation into the baby's death is ongoing. The older sister is currently being held in a juvenile detention center, awaiting court proceedings. Nola.com has quoted a local criminal defense attorney, Gregory Carter, who questions the decision to charge the child with first-degree murder. "To believe they're culpable and capable of making the kind of decision that would warrant a first-degree murder charge seems like overkill," he said, though he admits that he does not know the specifics of the case.
It is, of course, possible that the older child lashed out without knowing the full extent of the harm she would cause her younger sibling, and Carter has trouble understanding why the law believes the 12-year-old girl has the kind of character that would warrant such a severe charge. According to Lousiana law, if the girl is convicted, she faces what is known as a juvenile life sentence. She will be held at a secure facility for juvenile offenders until she reaches the age of 21, which would be an eight to nine-year sentence, depending on how long the trial would go on for.