A 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy is accused of murdering a 90-year-old woman. Authorities said Tristen Kurilla entered Helen Novak’s bedroom and proceeded to beat the elderly woman to death. Although he is well under the age of 18, the boy was arrested and charged as an adult.
According to reports, Tristen was visiting his grandfather’s home, which he shared with the victim. On Saturday morning, the boy reportedly entered Novak’s room to ask her a question. However, the woman responded by yelling at Tristen and asking him to leave the room.
As stated in the official complaint, Tristen Kurilla “got mad and lost his temper.” He then proceeded to attack the elderly woman.
As reported by New York Post, Tristen eventually left Novak’s room and told his grandfather that the woman was “bleeding from the mouth.” Anthony Virbitsky said he checked Novak for signs of distress. Although she was reportedly “breathing heavy and looked scared,” Virbitsky did not believe she needed medical assistance.
Fewer than 30 minutes later, he found the elderly woman unresponsive. Although he called 911, it was simply too late. An autopsy later confirmed Helen Novak died of blunt force trauma to her neck.
During a police interview, the 10-year-old boy admitted killing the elderly woman. As stated in the police affidavit, Tristen Kurilla “did put a wooden cane against the throat of the victim… and push it up against her throat for 4-5 seconds… did strike her five times with his fist in the throat… did strike the victim with his fist five times in the abdomen.”
Tristen admitted that he killed Novak. However, he said he was simply “trying to hurt her,” and he did not intend to end her life.
Although the 10-year-old boy is currently being held without bond, attorney Bernard Brown is trying to arrange for his release. As reported by Associated Press, Tristen suffers with mental health issues and may not be competent to stand trial.
Martha Virbitsky said her son has a history of mental illness and violent behavior. She further stated that Tristen “tells lies all the time.” Martha said she has “had a lot of trouble” with her son and wants him to be held accountable for his actions.
If the judge allows a competency hearing and Tristen is found to be mentally ill, the case could be transferred to the juvenile court. It is also possible that he could be found incompetent to stand trial. Martha did not disclose whether her 10-year-old son’s mental health issues were formally diagnosed before he killed the elderly woman.
Tristen Kurilla is currently being held without bond at the Wayne County Correctional Facility.
[Images via Shutterstock and Viral Global News]