A judge sentenced a boy who beat his 2-year-old foster sister to death to foster care Tuesday afternoon.
The 13-year-old boy, who was 12 at the time of the beating, is still so small his head barely reached above the high-backed leather chair in which he sat during sentencing.
The judge said she believes the boy did not understand that the blows he inflicted on Aniyah Bachelor could and did kill her. Noting he had never been in trouble, Judge Sherrie Krauwser ordered him into what she called "therapeutic” foster care. She specified that he be the only child in the home, that he receive weekly therapy and that visits to his family be restricted.
The decision did not sit well with the dead toddler's family.
“He has a 3.0 grade average in one of the best schools, comes from a religious family, how do you not understand right from wrong?” Aniyah’s grandmother Pamela Knight asked.
Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said her office argued for even stricter confinement, noting the severity of the injuries.
“Our system, honestly, really isn’t equipped to deal with a 12-year-old who murders another child,” she said. “That’s the reality, so this was very difficult for this judge. … The unthinkable has already occurred, and trying to find a way to rehabilitate and treat a child after this has occurred is really very difficult.”
Aniyah’s family was planning to take her out of foster care.
“The week before her death, I was approved to get Aniyah,” Knight said. “It was just a week that they had called and told me I was approved to get Aniyah, and this happened.”