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article imageBoy, 10, charged in murder of 90-year-old woman

By Megan Hamilton     Oct 16, 2014 in Crime
East Stroudsburg - It seems unthinkable but, sadly, it isn't. A young Pennsylvania boy only 10 years old has been charged with murder as an adult in the beating death on Saturday of a 90-year-old woman after she told him to get out of her room, according to officials.
Prosecutors say they had no choice but to charge the boy as an adult. In Pennsylvania, homicide charges must be filed in adult court. After that, judges can move cases to the juvenile court if they deem it appropriate. He was also charged as an adult with aggravated assault, Reuters reports.
The boy, Tristen Kurilla, spent Saturday visiting the Damascus Township home of his grandfather, who was caring for Helen Novak, 90. When Tristen went to Novak's room about 10 a.m. to ask her a question, Novak yelled at him and told him to leave, the police told The New York Post.
At first, the boy did what he was told, but came back with a wooden cane, which he allegedly hooked around her neck and pushed it into her throat for several seconds before punching her in the throat five times and five times in the stomach, per the Post.
Tristen went to his grandfather, Anthony Virbitsky, and told him Novak was bleeding from the mouth. Virbitsky told police that he did not see any blood when he first checked on Novak around 10:30 that morning, but he noted that she was breathing heavy and looked scared."
When he checked her again around 11:00 a.m., he found her unresponsive and called 911.
"I killed that lady," the boy said, according to court documents, per Reuters.
"Were you trying to kill her? a state trooper asked.
"No, I was only trying to hurt her," Tristen replied in a criminal complaint.
His lawyer, Bernard Brown, initially requested bail, but withdrew the request and said the boy's family isn't ready to have him released into their custody, adding that the family was not comfortable with the idea of placing him in their care right now. He did not say why that is, Reuters reports.
Originally, Brown had filed a petition requesting that the boy be released into the custody of his father or moved to a juvenile detention facility.
The situation regarding the detention center was less than ideal because the closest one was 80 miles away, making family visits difficult, Brown said. Judge Raymond Hamill said that he was concerned about moving the child to a juvenile center. Doing so could expose him to "elements more detrimental to his well-being."
The boy appeared via a video hookup. While he did not speak, he could be seen burying his face in his hands at times, per ABC News.
Brown said that Tristen's family believes he is being treated well at the county prison. He is being kept alone in a cell and away from the general population. He added that the boy was provided with recreation and coloring books. He is being held without bail at the Wayne County Correctional Facility and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 22.
Kurilla was being held without bail at the Wayne County Correctional Facility pending a court appearance on Oct. 22. Brown still hopes to have the case transferred to juvenile court, ABC reports.
The attorney still plans to seek to have the case transferred to juvenile court.
More about Boy charged in murder, 90yearold woman, murder of 90yearold woman, ABC News, Reuters
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