At 11pm on Sunday October 11, 26-year-old Katerra Lewis and her friend went out clubbing. It was around 13 degrees but humid when they shut the door of the neat house with the sloping front yard they were temporarily sharing. Inside were six children. The eldest was eight. One month later he would be charged with the murder of one-year-old Kelci Lewis.
Police say the eight-year-old, who was the son of the friend Katerra Lewis went out clubbing with, beat Kelci to death when she wouldn’t stop crying. After returning from the nightclub around 2am, Kelci was not checked on until 10.30am the next morning when she was found unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at 11.07am.
Watch the news report below. Post continues after video.
Detroit News Time reports that Kelci Lewis suffered severe head trauma and major damage to her internal organs and that the six-year-old in the house is the prime witness. The other children in the house at the time, who were seven, six, four and two, have not been returned to their parents.
Under Alabama law, the eight-year-old boy can be tried for murder as there is no minimum age in which a child can be presumed to bear criminal responsibility. Alabama is one of 30 states with no minimum age. The boy remains in the custody of the state Department of Human Resources while Katerra Lewis has been charged with the manslaughter of her only child but is out on bail.
According to The Guardian the eight-year-old will not be charged as an adult, “but is charged with being a juvenile delinquent” and a judge will determine whether he is competent and understands the consequences of his actions before the case proceeds. But Marsha Levick, executive director of the juvenile law centre says, “I can’t imagine any other country in the world would charge an eight-year-old in a criminal-like proceeding or in a delinquency proceeding with homicide.”