A 12-year-old Fort Washington boy is charged with beating a 2-year-old foster child to death inside his home, says Prince George’s County police.
Police say the boy, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, is charged with second-degree murder of Aniyah Batchelor, 2, on July 3 inside a home in the 1800 block of Taylor Avenue in Fort Washington. He has since been remanded to the Cheltenham Youth Facility, said Julie Parker, a county police spokeswoman on July 5.
The boy’s father called 911 about 12:09 p.m. July 3 when he discovered Aniyah “unresponsive” and tried to perform CPR until paramedics came, Parker said. Aniyah was transported to a hospital where she died from her injuries and an autopsy revealed she died from “blunt force trauma,” Parker said.
Parker said there was no weapon involved and no information on a possible motive. Police developed the child as a suspect after multiple interviews with family members, Parker said.
The 12-year-old’s biological siblings, a 15-year-old and a 4-year-old were at the home at the time, where the 15-year-old child was in charge of watching the younger children, according to Parker. The 15-year-old was legally old enough to watch the children, Parker said.
The boy is currently being charged as a juvenile and would have to be 14 years old to be charged as an adult according to state law, Parker said.
A court of law could waive the child’s status to be charged as an adult only if he was charged with first degree murder, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s office.
“As long as it’s second degree [murder] he cannot be charged as an adult,” Erzen said.
Aniyah’s placement in the home was a court ordered one, said Parker.
Parker referred questions about the foster child status to Pat Hines, spokesman for the state’s Department of Human Resources. However, Hines said in a July 5 phone call that unless a child died or nearly died as a result of abuse or neglect, the state does not permit him to comment on a case.
Parker did not have information by press deadline whether the boy had a previous juvenile record and Erzen said he is prohibited from talking about the case because there is a petition in juvenile court. Parker said the last time a preteen had been charged with murder was in 2006 and that suspect was also a 12-year-old.