Girl, 11, charged with beating death of 2-month-old baby

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WICKLIFFE, Ohio (CNN) -- An 11-year-old girl in Ohio has been charged with murder after she allegedly beat a 2-month-old baby to death.

The girl, who is not being named because of her age, went before a juvenile court judge Monday and was ordered to undergo a mental competency exam before her next appearance, FOX 8 in Cleveland reported .

"We're trying to figure out what would motivate someone to do something like that," Wickliffe Police Chief Randy Ice told reporters. "And so far, we haven't come up with an answer."

The incident took place Friday at an apartment in the city of Wickliffe, about 17 miles outside Cleveland.

The girl's mother was babysitting the infant, Zuri Whitehead. She wanted to give the baby's mother a break from caring for a newborn, police said.

After the mother fell asleep on the couch, the girl took Zuri upstairs, Ice told the court at Monday's hearing. She returned 45 minutes later, woke the mother up and said something was wrong with the baby, Ice said.

Zuri was taken to a hospital where she died during surgery.

The Cuyahoga County Coroner's office later ruled the death a homicide; the baby had massive injuries to her brain, liver, spleen and kidney, Ice said.

The police chief said he is considering offering counseling for officers who responded to the scene.

"We're having a hard time getting our head around this," he told reporters. "You don't see something like this, hardly ever."

At the hearing, the little girl, all of 4-feet tall and about 50 lbs, appeared in leg shackles and sat beside her mother, as family members sobbed, CNN affiliate WOIO reported.

The scene made even seasoned prosecutors well up, the affiliate reported.

A judge asked if she understood the charges against her. She answered yes.

She is being held at the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center.


  • Charles

    This Is Unbelievable, I personally believe there’s more to this story than meets the eye. for all that damage done to the baby, it would seem as though there would be some noise (crying, banging screams.) so where exactly was the mother? and or is it she’s trying to blame her daughter for her actions.

  • vicki hanson

    First of all the mother is to blame because she was the responsible babysitter left in charge and you don’t fall asleep and leave an 11 year old in charge of a 2 year old. And she should of told the 11 year old to be sure to wake her up emediately incase she did fall asleep. Alls we can hope is that the mom is not trying to place the beating death on her 11 year old because the 11 year old will only get a slap on the hand oppose to prison time for an adult. v

  • myOWNcompass

    The woman who fell asleep needs to be held accountable, but understand this, the 11yr old girl is psychopathic. I doubt her mother did not know this, she has likely known for a long time that something is very wrong with her daughter, she has chosen all these years to ignore it. She will however claim ignorance.

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