A Fort Washington boy convicted of fatally beating his two-year-old foster sister was ordered to serve an indefinite amount of time in a therapeutic group home on Tuesday.
Circuit Court Judge Sherrie Krauser rejected prosecutors' request to have the juvenile sent to a detention facility, opting instead to remove him from his home and assign him to a closely monitored form of foster care.
According to prosecutors, the 13-year-old boy—who was 12 at the time of the incident—repeatedly struck young Aniyah Batchelor on July 3 at his house in the 1800 block of Taylor Street. The girl had been placed in foster care at the address following allegations of abuse by members of her own family.
When the boy's father came home to find Batchelor unresponsive, he reportedly called 911 and attempted to revive the toddler using CPR. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
An autopsy report showed extensive signs of abuse, prosecutors said, including dozens of bruises to Batchelor's head and body and multiple internal injuries.
In September, the boy entered a so-called Alford Plea to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, meaning he did not admit guilt but conceded that there was sufficient evidence to obtain a guilty verdict.
According to a statement from Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, Judge Krauser included the followed stipulations in Tuesday's order:
- Treatment foster placement in a home with no other children under the age of 18 nor anyone else in the home with a physical or mental defect
- Weekly individual therapy sessions for the defendant
- Individual family therapy sessions for his family
- Joint therapy sessions with the defendant and his family as may be recommended by his therapist
- Contact with his family will be supervised and only allowed at the recommendation of his therapist
- Access to crisis management
“The judge had a very difficult decision to make in this case and she did everything she could to keep him out of proximity to other children," Alsobrooks said.
A status and placement hearing is scheduled in the case for Nov. 15 at 1:30 p.m.