Mother of one-year-old Kelci charged with manslaughter for allegedly leaving the baby in the care of a group of children all younger than nine years old
An eight-year-old boy has been charged with murder in Birmingham, Alabama, after an infant left in his care was beaten to death.
The child’s mother, who has been named as 26-year-old Katerra Lewis, has been charged with manslaughter after leaving her one-year-old daughter Kelci in the care of a group of children all younger than nine.
On 11 October, police said, Katerra Lewis and her friend left to go to a club at around 11.30pm. The women returned at around 2am, but did not check on Kelci until the following morning, according to Birmingham police spokesman Sean Edwards.
Edwards said the police department had obtained information from the other children who witnessed the beating – a process he described as “heart-wrenching” – that suggested the eight-year-old had become “extremely agitated” when Kelci would not stop crying.
The police were called at 10am and arrived to find Kelci dead in her crib. A coroner declared the cause of death to be severe trauma to the head and organs, Edwards said. Edwards described it as “by far one of the saddest cases I’ve witnessed since I became a police officer”.
Family members attended a candlelight vigil for Kelci on 20 October, where the victim’s grandmother, Waynetta Callens, told the Huntsville Times that Kelci was “loved by so many”. Katerra Lewis attended but was too distraught to speak, the Times reported.
The eight-year-old is currently in the custody of the department of human resources, and will be tried in family court. Lewis has been released on a $15,000 bond.