When a baby cries or in distress the nearest elder is called in to assist the child and take care of their needs. However, it is never expected that murder is the proper response.
The Kansas City police found 18-month-old Jermane Johnson, Jr. dead in his grandparents home last Friday. His 5-year-old relative held the infant underwater in a bathtub because he wouldn’t stop crying. No parents were home and a teenage babysitter fell asleep leaving the children unattended.
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Police say the incident is being investigated as a homicide. Neighbors say the child does not have a history of violence or trouble.
Missouri state law allows family court to decide if a child goes to trial. Meanwhile, juvenile court officials say it is impossible to prove criminal intent on a child younger than 10. This case is not without precedent and the 5-year-old is expected to face mental health treatment rather than jail time.