An Indiana man who allegedly punched and killed his teenage brother because he was vaping indoors has been arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The accused, 21-year-old Tyler M. Kiger of La Porte, was arrested on Wednesday, June 19, and charged with the level five felony in connection to the death of his younger brother, 15-year-old Michael Kiger, according to a press release by the La Porte County Sheriff's Office.
On the evening of June 7, Michael was involved in a disturbance with Tyler, who is his biological brother, at a residence in the 2800 west block of CR 450 North, during which he sustained what would be a fatal blow to the head.
The Northwest Indiana Times reported that the incident stemmed from Tyler punching Michael annoyed at the 15-year-old vaping indoors.
The Criminal Investigations Division of the LPCSO launched a probe into the death of Michael on June 8. As a result of the information learned during the investigation, Detective Sergeant Adam Hannon testified in La Porte County Circuit Court at a probable cause hearing.
During the hearing, Hannon revealed the details of the 911 call Michael had made following his altercation with his older brother. Hannon said the 15-year-old "told the dispatcher he had been battered by his brother".
Hannon described Michael as "very frantic, emotional" and said he "complained of pain to his head" and "mentioned he was having difficulty hearing out of one of his ears."
However, by the time police and emergency medical services arrived at the residence, that is the home of the boys' great-grandmother, his demeanor had reportedly changed.
"His speech began to slow," the detective testified. "He told the dispatcher that he just wanted to go to sleep. He was not yelling and screaming as he was earlier in the phone call."
Hannon told the court that the great-grandmother did not give EMS permission to assess the 15-year-old or take him to a hospital, and that, instead, the teen ultimately was transported to his mother's residence, where he was found unresponsive four or five hours later.
Attempts to resuscitate the teen, first at the residence and later at the hospital, failed, and he was declared dead. The cause of death was determined to be "blunt force trauma to the head," and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Tyler reportedly confessed to punching his brother in the left side of his head once with his closed right fist, and police subsequently issued an arrest warrant for involuntary manslaughter. Tyler remains incarcerated in the La Porte County Jail on a $15,000 cash-only bond through La Porte County Circuit Court. He made his first appearance in court on Friday, June 21.
The sheriff's office has announced that the investigation remains active awaiting final documentation pertaining to their investigation into the incident.