Boy, 12, charged with toddler's death
Jan 07,2008 00:00 by UPI
LAUDERHILL, Fla. -- A 12-year-old South Florida boy is in detention and accused of beating a 17-month-old girl to death with a baseball bat because she was crying.

The boy told police he was trying to watch TV at a home in Lauderhill, northwest of Fort Lauderdale, Friday when the child began making noise, and he began striking her head repeatedly, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Police said the boy's mother was at work and there were no adults at the house when the incident happened. They also said the boy and the child were related, but did not elaborate.

The boy appeared in Broward County court Sunday, and was ordered held in detention for at least 21 days while prosecutors decide whether he should be formally charged with first degree murder as an adult or juvenile.

Maria Schneider, Broward's chief juvenile crimes prosecutor, said the boy had no prior record, and that if he is tried as an adult and convicted, the only sentence under state law is life in prison.

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