8-Year-Old Boy Charged In Toddler’s Murder
An 8-year-old Alabama boy has been charged in the murder of 1-year-old Kelci Devine Lewis, who cops say was beaten to death.
According to AL.com, Kelci was left in the care of the 8-year-old, along with four other kids—ages 2, 4, 6, and 7—while her mother, 26-year-old Katerra Lewis, partied with friends. The toddler’s grandmother, Waynetta Callens, said that her daughter and granddaughter did not live in the home where Kelci died, but added that they were staying there with a friend temporarily as Katerra waited for Section 8 approval.
The 6-year-old who was in the home at the time Kelci sustained the fatal injuries told investigators that the 8-year-old beat Kelci because she wouldn’t stop crying and placed her back in her crib, which is where her mother found her unresponsive the following morning. Detectives say that her statement matched up with Kelci’s injuries.
“It is believed that while the mother and friend were at the club, the 8-year-old viciously attacked the 1-year-old because the 1-year-old would not stop crying,” Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards said. “The 1-year-old suffered from severe head trauma as well as major internal organ damage which ultimately led to her death.”
All of the children present the night of the Oct. 11 incident were removed and so far, have not been returned to their mothers. The 8-year-old, who police have not and will not identify, has been charged with murder—making him the youngest murder suspect in Jefferson County’s recent memory. Kelci’s mother has been charged with manslaughter.
“There are just too many deep-rooted issues in this horrific crime. It’s extremely troubling from so many different angles, and there are no law enforcement answers to prevent it,” Birmingham police Chief A.C. Roper. “We’ve been concerned about the kids and the future effect on their lives. The bottom line is an innocent young baby lost her life, and that should be a wake-up call for our community.”
Katerra was released on $15,000 bond this week.