(Reuters) - A 10-year-old girl in Wisconsin was charged with first-degree homicide after she was accused of stomping on the head of a 6-month-old baby boy in a panic after accidentally dropping the infant at a day care centre last week, according to local law enforcement and media reports.
A judge ordered the girl, who was not named by officials, to be held in custody on Monday in lieu of a $50,000 (£38,185) bond during a hearing at the Chippewa County Circuit Court, according to reports by NBC affiliate WEAU News. New reports said she was being charged as an adult under state law related to the incident on Oct. 30, but the case could later be transferred to juvenile court.
The girl was in foster care at a home in Tilden, a town nearly 200 miles northeast of Madison that also serves as a day care centre, when she accidentally dropped the infant who hit his head on a stool and began to cry, WEAU News reported, citing Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell.
“She stated she was holding the child and that’s when she dropped the child,” Newell said. “The child hit its head on the footstool and then the child started crying and she panicked and didn’t know what to do and didn’t want to get into trouble and then she proceeded to stomp on the 6-month-old’s head.”
The Chippewa County sheriff’s office said in a press release that the infant had suffered multiple skull fractures and medical specialists had informed deputies the injuries were consistent “with child abuse, not by accidental circumstances.”
The baby was airlifted to a hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, about 100 miles west of Tilden, and died on Nov. 1. The girl initially denied harming the baby but eventually confessed to authorities, the news station reported, citing a statement by Chippewa County Sheriff James Kowalczyk.
The day care centre was shut down during the investigation, the news station reported.
The sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by David Gregorio