How unspeakable would a murder need to be in order for the assailant, aged 10, to be charged as an adult? Decide for yourself based on the facts, which are as follows: A boy, who can be described as the very least as having extreme anger issues, lost his temper with a 90-year-old woman. So he grabbed a cane, hooked it around her neck, and held her down as he beat her, ultimately crushing her trachea.
“I killed that lady,” Tristen Kurilla, of Damascus Twp., Pa., told a state trooper Saturday. He was referring to Helen Novak, who, according to an autopsy performed Monday, died of blunt force trauma to the neck. Kurilla has been charged with criminal homicide and will, it appears, be tried as an adult.
A local newspaper, the Morning Call, notes that the old woman lived in the home of the child’s grandfather, Anthony Virbitsky, who was also her caretaker. During a visit to the home Saturday morning, Kurilla went to Novak’s room to ask her a question. He later told police that Novak yelled at him and ordered to leave the room.
He did, only to return minutes later with the cane that may have been the murder weapon. According to the police report, the boy also struck the deceased five times in the throat and five times in the stomach. “I was only trying to hurt her,” he said.
After the attack, Kurilla went to his grandfather and told him Novak was bleeding from the mouth. When Virbitsky first examined her around 10:30 a.m., she was “breathing heavy and looked scared” he said. But by 11 a.m. she was unresponsive, and he called 911.
Kurilla is being held without bail and has been remanded to Wayne County Prison. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 22. Although he has been charged as an adult, according to Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards, Kurilla can petition the court to move his case to juvenile court. The question now is whether they should.
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