5 Year Old Girl Faces Murder Charges

Discussion in 'Horror Stories' started by MA-Caver, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Purposefully drowned her baby brother because he wouldn't stop crying. Baby sitter was asleep.
    Not very detailed the report apparently still under investigation.
    Bringing murder charges against a 5 year old is, IMO ludicrous.
     
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    I agree. But then what do you do with this girl? Tell her not to do it again? Maybe give her a "time out"?

    What a horrible situation all around.
     
  3. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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    5 yo's cant be deemed mentally competent for a murder charge IMO.
     
  4. rlobrecht

    rlobrecht Brown Belt

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    I'm surprised there's no mention of charges for the babysitter.
     
  5. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I doubt the charges were made without careful consideration, and I suspect it was done as a mechanism to support subsequent actions. Generally, I'm not aware of a state that would find her competent... So it'll probably be a tool to move her into appropriate care.
     
  6. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ok so define appropriate care... can't call the parents negligent because they left her with a sitter not knowing that the sitter herself was incompetent by falling asleep on the job and thus the event happened. I agree that the child herself cannot be held accountable because while she knowingly put the baby under the water one needs to assess if she was aware that it could kill the baby... she only wanted it to stop crying. Why she didn't wake up the sitter is a mystery... perhaps she tried and failed and thus took matters into her own hands. Yet she cannot be held because she could not aware of the consequences of her actions (charged for murder -- even 2nd degree manslaughter then court and jail and all of that). I'd reach to say that she probably realized that she killed the baby after it was pointed out to her or when the baby became unresponsive... I dunno. To say that its a tragedy is an understatement. I would hold the sitter in part accountable because she fell asleep on the job and that is something you should NEVER do when watching small children.
     
  7. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    More of the story here...
     
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    This is certainly a possible scenario; another is that she's a budding psychopath who saw killing the baby as the easiest way to make it stop crying. I'm not saying she is, but I'd want to know a lot more about her before dismissing the event as a simple childhood "mistake".

    Absolutely no-win scenario for anyone in this.
     
  9. Empty Hands

    Empty Hands Senior Master

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    How could you tell? Children at that age are still highly amoral. They are still internalizing concepts like sharing and not hurting.
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I can't, without more information. But if I charge someone, they're taken into custody immediately. And they're easier to hold longer... Removal proceedings are complicated. Like I said -- I suspect this was a tool to move things forward. It may also be a purely political move. After all, I can't see an assistant prosecutor approving this particular charge without the elected (generally) prosecutor/district attorney approving it.
     
  11. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    I understand jks... and my question was more rhetorical because of the age of the child and the long term psychological effects all of this will have upon her. I don't think she could be a budding psychopath since the usual pattern is with small animals working their way up to humans over a period of years. I think she was simply annoyed (as much as a 5 year old could be), got frustrated with the sitter and decided she knew how to make the baby's noise stop. I would like to think she didn't realize that submerging the baby would eventually drown/kill it. Only that the noise would stop. An older woman had done the same thing but SHE knew better no matter what.
     
  12. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    While a 5 year old might not have "intent" or really understand the consequences. How come no one has addressed that even a 5 year old should understand that putting your baby sibling underwater is a no-no in general?

    I remember having VERY early conversations with my parents about what I could or could not do with my baby sister because it could hurt her. It's a tragedy, but somewhere this child didn't get some early training that would have been appropriate of what to do or not do.
     
  13. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    She may also have been doing the oppositional behavior of breaking a rule simply because it was a rule. Only the family, and the specialists brought in to manage the situation, can really say. Awful, just awful.
     
  14. girlbug2

    girlbug2 Master of Arts

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    Maybe the water thing hadn't come up yet. As a mom, I never thought to explicitly tell my older boy every possible thing he couldn't do because it would hurt his baby brother. Some situations of course were teaching moments when questions would come up, but how could anybody think of everything? "Don't throw hammers at your brother it will hurt him" "Don't put your brother underwater he will drown" "Don't put rocks up his nose"....etc. Even trying to think of every possibility draws a huge blank. And expecting a 5 year old to remember that exhaustive list? I really don't see that the parents were negligent here.
     
  15. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    From my understanding of the article she held him under. She got angry and thought out that this is the best way to get him to be quiet. This is going to puzzle people for generations... psychologists and their students will be discussing this case for a while in the years to come.
     
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    Maybe she skipped a few steps from the textbook description? The primary characteristic of a psychopath is that they lack the capacity to feel empathy for others (although some learn to fake it to get what they want).

    My question is did she do this not understanding the consequences, or not caring about them? I don't have the answer, but I hope I'm not the only one asking the question.

    This supports the darker of the possibilities, IMO. At the very least, this girl (and her family) need serious therapy and need to watch for other signs that this might not be a simple but tragic mistake.
     
  17. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    You're not... problem is... who is able to provide the answers?

    Well as I pointed out... this is not a mistake... except on the sitter's falling asleep on the job. The acts of the 5 year old were deliberate, enacted with a deliberate purpose. Whether she knew the long range consenquences or even the short range (that it would kill the baby) is left to question.
     
  18. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Probably, nobody will ever be able to answer a lot of the questions. She is five. She really lacks the capacity to analyze herself to much depth, and by the time she does reach that ability -- she'll have moved far enough from who she is now that she won't be able to answer them.

    A VERY skilled child psychologist MAY get some answers, with lots of work and study. Or may simply throw up their hands and say "that's all we get."
     
  19. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've worked/interned with child psychologists before... and a good one can piece out over time the workings of the child's mind and maybe get to the source of her homicidal tendencies.
    She could be totally unaware or something that is very difficult to contemplate totally aware even for her age. But I'll be guessing somewhere in between. Now the trick would be to make her understand the wrongness of her actions and if we're lucky she won't do it again... ever.123
     

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