8-year-old charged in beating death of 1-year-old in Birmingham, toddler’s mother also charged

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Police say an 8-year-old Alabama boy is charged with beating a 1-year-old girl to death while they were left home alone.

Birmingham Police spokesman Sean Edwards says a murder warrant has been obtained against the boy and that 26-year-Katerra Lewis also is charged with manslaughter in the death of her daughter, 1-year-old Kelci Lewis. Police say several children ranging from age 2 to 8 were left home alone while Katerra Lewis and a friend went to a nightclub on Oct. 11.

"It is believed that while the mother and friend were at the club, the 8-year-old viciously attacked the 1-year-old because the 1-year-old would not stop crying,'' Edwards said. "The 1-year-old suffered from severe head trauma as well as major internal organ damage with ultimately led to her death."

According to our news partners AL.com, police believe the 8-year-old put the injured Kelci back in her crib, where she remained until her mother found her the following day. Katerra Lewis and the other adult were reportedly gone from 11:30 p.m. until 2 a.m.

"This is one of the most heartbreaking investigations that I have seen in over 30 years of my law enforcement career,'' said Birmingham police Chief A.C. Roper.

"There are just too many deep rooted issues in this horrific crime. It's extremely troubling from so many different angles and there are no law enforcement answers to prevent it,'' Roper said. "We've been concerned about the kids and the future effect on their lives. The bottom line is an innocent young baby lost her life and that should be a wake-up call for our community."

Katerra Lewis attended a vigil held Oct. 20 at Avondale Park but was too distraught to speak to the group, AL.com reports. They lit candles and released white balloons in Kelci's memory.

The 8-year-old boy is in the custody of the Department of Human Resources. His name will not be released. Lewis was arrested but has posted $15,000 bond.