Oct 14, 2014 10:59 AM

Boy, 10, charged with killing woman, 90, in bed

The Associated Press

TYLER HILL, Pa. (AP) A 10-year-old boy apparently angry that a 90-year-old woman had yelled at him held a cane against her throat and repeatedly punched her, killing her, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they have charged the boy as an adult with criminal homicide in the death of Helen Novak, a woman who was being cared for by his grandfather.

The beating occurred Saturday when the boy was visiting his grandfather's home in northeastern Pennsylvania, state police said.

The boy denied hurting the woman when he told his grandfather that the woman was "bleeding from her mouth," the prosecutor said. The grandfather checked on her, and the woman said she was OK, investigators said.

When the grandfather checked a second time, she was not responsive, and he called 911, police said. The grandfather asked the boy again "if he had done something" to the woman and the boy said he had punched her and put a cane around her neck, said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.

The boy's mother brought him into a state police barracks later the same day, reporting that he had gone into the woman's room and she had yelled at him. According to the mother, the boy told her that "he got mad, lost his temper and grabbed a cane and put it around Novak's throat," police said.

Advised of his rights and interviewed by a trooper, the boy said he "pulled Novak down on the bed and held the cane on her throat and then punched her numerous times," the prosecutor said.

The woman's injuries were found to be consistent with the boy's account, the prosecutor said.

An autopsy found blunt force trauma to the woman's neck, leading to the homicide finding. The prosecutor said the crime of criminal homicide is excluded from juvenile law, so the boy was charged as an adult.

The AP generally doesn't identify juveniles who are accused of crimes.

He is being held without bail pending an Oct. 22 preliminary hearing. Court documents do not list an attorney for him and a phone number for his family couldn't be found.


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