Rehabilitation for 14-Year-Old After Baby Sister's Death

By Chris Gordon
|  Tuesday, Jun 4, 2013  |  Updated 6:17 PM EDT
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Rehabilitation for 14-Year-Old After Baby Sister's Death

Larissa Yanes

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A 14-year-old boy was sentenced to a treatment facility for the death of his 7-month-old sister.

For more than a year, their mother worked the night shift cleaning office buildings, leaving the boy to watch the infant nightly in their Montgomery County home.

The infant, Larissa Yanes, was found unresponsive the morning of Feb. 8 in the family’s White Oak apartment. Initially her brother was charged as an adult with first-degree murder after confessing to beating the girl with hands, elbows and belt. He covered her mouth with his hands until she stopped crying. Her body was covered with bug bites that occurred in the apartment after her death.

"It's just an accident,” family friend Lydia Guillen said. “It just happened, you know. He's only 14 years old. I guess it was too much for him."

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The case was sent to juvenile court, and the charge was reduced to second-degree murder.

The teen was found to be involved in involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced Tuesday to a residential treatment facility for therapy and behavior modification.

If an adult was sentenced for involuntary manslaughter he could be put in prison for 10 years.

“The juvenile system is set up for rehabilitation,” said lawyer Rene Sandler, who has handled juvenile criminal cases as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. “I mean we’re dealing with young people oftentimes with educational or emotional issues, and so the whole purpose of the system is to help and rehabilitate because the jurisdiction of the court is until the juvenile is 21.”

Now the mother must wait for psychiatrists to determine when it’s safe for her son to return to the family.

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