Boy, 10, Charged With Murder of 90-Year-Old

Pa. 5th-grader charged as an adult
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2014 2:48 AM CDT
Boy, 10, Charged With Murder of 90-Year-Old
Tristen Kurilla's attorney is trying to get him out of jail.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A 10-year-old boy who confessed to killing an elderly woman is in prison in Wayne County, Pa., and has been charged as an adult with criminal homicide. According to the Morning Call, Tristen Kurilla was visiting his grandfather on Saturday when he argued with Helen Novak, the 90-year-old woman his grandfather was caring for. Police say the boy has told them that after Novak yelled at him to leave the room, he became "very mad," hooked a wooden cane around her neck, pushed it into her throat for a few seconds, and then punched her multiple times in the throat and stomach.

Tristen then went and told his grandfather that Novak was bleeding from the mouth. The grandfather called 911 after finding her unresponsive. Police say he told them "I killed that lady," but he "was only trying to hurt her." The coroner determined that blunt force trauma to the neck was the cause of death and ruled the death a homicide, reports the Pocono Record. The boy—whose mother told cops he has a history of "mental difficulties"—was charged as an adult because juveniles can't be charged with homicide in Pennsylvania, according to the district attorney's office. Tristen is being held without bail and his next hearing will be Oct. 22. The lawyer who will represent the fifth-grader has filed a petition to get him out of jail. The boy "really kind of doesn't have an idea of what is going on," he tells WBRE. (More Pennsylvania stories.)

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