Sophia O’Neill, a 2-year-old toddler from Minneapolis, was allegedly beaten and “stomped” to death by her mother’s teenage boyfriend. KTLA reports that the 17-year-old killed Sophia because she “wouldn’t stop crying.” The 17-year-old teenager, also a resident of Minneapolis, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. His name and identity has not been revealed because he has been charged as a juvenile.
The horrific incident happened on the afternoon of June 10 when authorities responded to an emergency and were dispatched to a home at around 12:35 p.m. local time. The initial report they received was of a child who was not breathing.
Upon reaching the home, Sophia was found to be in a critical condition and was quickly taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center. She died nine hours later of her injuries, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Doctors who treated Sophia revealed that the 2-year-old had suffered terrible injuries. A statement issued by the Hennepin County Attorney read,
“Sophia had multiple bruises, including extensive bruising to back and abdomen. Specifically, the doctors who tried to save O’Neill found that she had a split kidney, split pancreas, liver damage, rib fractures, both new and healing, a collapsed lung and other cuts and bruises,”
Meanwhile, the 20-year-old mother of Sophia told authorities that she had left her daughter with her boyfriend on the day of her death. It is unclear as to what exactly happened that day. However, a neighbor informed police that the 17-year-old teenager knocked on his door at around 12:25 p.m. and asked whether he could use his cellphone. 10 minutes later, he returned to his home, this time with the limp Sophia in his hands. The neighbor immediately called 911 and administered CPR on the toddler.
The statement from the Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, added,
“In an interview with police, (the suspect) admitted that when she wouldn’t stop crying, he kicked the child twice in the back and then laid her on the floor and stomped on her back. This was a brutal beating that is almost beyond comprehension.”
The suspect is currently in police custody and made his first court appearance on Monday at the Hennepin County Juvenile Justice Center. A certification trial to determine whether he should be tried as an adult is pending. The case is still ongoing and a pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 9 after which it would be decided if the teenager should be given a harsher sentence if he is convicted in Sophia’s murder
[Image Via Star Tribune]