Criminal Justice

Judge Acquits Boy, 12, in Baby's Murder, Says He Didn't Intend to Kill

A Georgia judge this morning found a 12-year-old boy not guilty of murdering his baby cousin, saying that the defendant hadn’t intended to kill the five-week-old girl.

Left alone in a car with the infant while her mother shopped, “he was scared and didn’t know what to do so he tried everything he could to get the baby to stop crying. He didn’t know what to do and I don’t expect him to know what to do,” said Cobb County Juvenile Judge Gregory Poole. “In order to get the baby to get quiet, he committed batteries against this baby.”

Poole also acquitted the boy of cruelty to children, but found him guilty of two counts of battery, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a condition of access to the trial, the newspaper agreed not to name the juvenile defendant.

The judge delayed the boy’s sentencing until Jan. 6, and said he is inclined to sentence him to probation and mandatory counseling.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. to reflect the sentencing schedule change.

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