A 9-year-old Alabama girl is facing a criminal charge in connection with the death of her 4-year-old brother, after police said she reportedly beat him to death with a broom, according to a published news report.
On Monday, the Mobile District Attorney’s office confirmed that the 9-year-old accused of allegedly beating her 4-year-old brother has been charged with assault, NBC15 News reported.
The complaint says the girl “did willfully torture, willfully abuse and cruelly beat” her brother, WPMI News reported.
The tragic incident took place last Thursday when Mobile police responded to a home located on Jacob Drive. When officers arrived they found the 4-year-old boy unresponsive, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Mobile Police Department.
The little boy’s aunt and legal guardian. Yolanda Coale, 53, told police that she woke to the sound of children screaming, and saw the girl hitting her brother with a broomstick, The New York Post reported.
Coale was arrested on the following day and charged with aggravated child abuse, according to jail records. She is being held on a $150,000 bond at the Mobile County Metro Jail, records show.
Coale’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 2 at the Mobile County Courthouse, according to records.
A neighbor said “they seemed like a really nice family,” and called it “really devastating.”
“It is always a lot of kids playing there all the time,” she said. “I’ve been over there before. It is really a nice house, It is clean on the inside. The kids have nice toys. The kids always dress nice. I don’t understand what happened,” NBC15 News reported.
Another neighbor said that she never saw Coale “yell, scream, or lose her temper,” WTVY News reported.
Court documents also claim there were past injuries and signs that indicate long-term abuse on the 4-year-old boy’s body, but it’s unclear how he got those injuries, the news outlet reported.