The teenager accused of second-degree murder in the suffocation death of his 7-month-old sister will be tried as a juvenile, according to Montgomery County police.
Originally the teen was charged as an adult in the Feb. 8 death of his baby sister in White Oak, Md., and faced life in prison. Now, if the eighth-grade student is convicted, he faces a sentence according to a judge’s discretion, according to Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
The charge was downgraded because some of the injuries found on the baby's body during the autopsy were not caused by her brother, but rather insects, McCarthy said.
The children's mother, Gloria Yanes, 39, left their apartment in the 11600 block of Lockwood Drive at 10:30 p.m. Feb. 7 to go to work, leaving the boy to watch Larissa and their 3-year-old sister, investigators said.
During the evening, the boy beat Larissa with his hands, elbows and a belt, which caused her to cry, detectives said. The teen told police he then covered Larissa's nose and mouth with his hands until she stopped crying and placed her in a car seat.
When the mother returned home early the next morning she discovered the baby unresponsive. Larissa Yanes was pronounced dead at Holy Cross Hospital shortly before 7 a.m. that day.