A 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy was charged as an adult Tuesday for the criminal homicide of a 90-year-old woman, CNN reports.
The fifth-grader was visiting the home of his grandfather on Saturday when he assaulted Helen Novak, said the Wayne County District Attorney in northeast Pennsylvania. The boy’s grandfather was reportedly caring for the nonagenarian.
Police reports say that the boy admitted grabbing a wooden cane, holding it to Novak’s neck and then punching her in the neck and stomach. An autopsy ruled Monday that Novak’s death was homicide by blunt force trauma to the neck.
The boy, now held without bail at Wayne County Correctional Facility, had told police shortly after the incident that Novak had yelled at him after he entered her room, and that he “was only trying to hurt her,” according to the police report. His preliminary court hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday.
A youth of any age who is charged with murder is charged as an adult in Pennsylvania, while other states set 15 years as the minimum age alongside other criteria, according to the Juvenile Law Center, the oldest public interest law firm for U.S. children.