10yr old Boy Charged with Murder in Killing of 90yr old Woman

10-year-old Tristen Kurilla has been charged with criminal homicide after killing 90-year-old Helen Novak in Damascus, PA.

The boy's grandfather, Anthony Virbitsky, was Novak’s caretaker. According to reports the kid entered into Novak’s room last Saturday morning  and she yelled at him to get out. He left, but then came back with a cane, which he put to her throat and pulled back. He also punched her in the stomach fives time. Then he told his grandfather that Novak was bleeding. His grandfather checked on Novak. She was “breathing heavy and looked scared,” but she said she was okay and didn’t want to go to the hospital. When he checked on her again later she was unresponsive and 911 was called. Authorities arrived to the house to find Helen Novak dead. The autopsy concluded that she died from blunt force trauma to her neck

According to Janine Edwards, Wayne County District Attorney, Virbitsky asked his grandson directly if he had hurt Novak, and the boy said he put the cane to her neck and punched her. 

The boy’s mother took him turned him in to State Police hours after the incident. The boy explained what he'd done saying“I killed that lady.”  He also said he was only trying to hurt her. As of now, the boy is charged as an adult. He is being held, without bail at the Wayne County Correctional facility. They have him separated from adult offenders. He is not in general population, he is being supervised 24/7 by staff and he is being provided recreation, television and phone privileges with his family.

In Pennsylvania homicide charges are first filed in adult court, but the boy's attorney can petition to have his case moved to juvenile court after the charges have been filed.

According to the Associated Press the boy’s attorney, Bernard Brown, believes he is not fit to stand trial. Brown is trying to have him released to his father and says there is evidence that the boy may have mental issues, so he may not be fit to stand trial. The  next court date is 10/22/14.

Nita Michelle

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