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article imageOhio 11-year-old charged in beating death of infant

By Karen Graham     Feb 10, 2015 in Crime
Wickliffe - An 11-year-old Wickliffe, Ohio girl is being held on a murder charge in the beating death of a 2-month-old baby girl who was staying overnight with her and her mother.
The baby girl, Zuri Whitehead, was with the mother and the 11-year-old on a couch downstairs at an apartment on Ridgewick Drive in Wickliffe early Friday. The mother fell asleep around 3 a.m. Friday, and according to Wickliffe police Chief Randy Ice, she was awakened about an hour later by her daughter, who was holding the badly injured baby.
Ice went on to say the daughter took the baby upstairs, and when she returned, the infant was bleeding and her head was badly swollen. The mother immediately called 911. The baby was taken to Lake West Hospital then to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, where she died during surgery. The infant suffered a massive brain injury.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Feb. 9, Ice said the case has been extremely difficult, given the ages of the victim and the suspect. Chief Ice said the 11-year-old didn't show any signs of remorse. "I'm not sure she appreciated the gravity of what she did," he said. Ice said also that he is thinking about getting counseling for the officers who responded to the scene. “We’re having a hard time getting (our) heads around this,” he said. “You don’t see stuff like this.”
The 11-year-old's mother and Zuri's mother, Trina Whitehead, have been friends for five or six years. Trina Whitehead has three other children and had asked the 11-year-old's mother to keep the baby overnight to "give her a breather." The names of the suspect and her mother are not being released because of the suspect's age.
Chris Simon, a Lake County juvenile court official said he couldn't recall a suspect in a murder charge being so young. Simon said 13 is the usual age for juveniles being detained at the county juvenile detention center where the girl is being held. Juvenile Judge Karen Lawson entered a plea of "not guilty" for the girl at a detention hearing on Monday. The judge also ordered a competency hearing for her.
The girl will not be tried as an adult. In Ohio, a child must be 14 years old to be turned over to be tried as an adult. The 11-year-old can be sentenced to the State Department of Youth Services until the age of 21. Based on the latest statistics available from the FBI, in the year 2012, there were 20 children age 12 and under charged with murder in the United States.
More about Ohio, 11year old girl, 2month old infant, Murder charges, no remorse
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