Tristen Kurilla, 10, was charged as an adult after beating 90-year-old Helen Novak to death in October. In a previous report by the Inquisitr, Tristen’s parents said that he has mental difficulties. Tristen was charged with aggravated assault and criminal homicide.
Since the incident, Tristen has been staying in adult jail awaiting his trial. He is one of the youngest to face an adult homicide charge in Pennsylvania. He was never allowed to touch his visitors and would only see them through a glass partition until recently, when he was allowed to have physical contact with his mother, the Daily Mail reports.
Tristen is staying at the Wayne County Correctional Facility and they said that they keep the 10-year-old away from the adult inmates. They give him movies, books, and a tutor who helps him with school work. The boy’s attorney, Scott Bennett, said that Tristen is scared of adult jail.
“He’s doing as well as can be expected. He’s a 10-year-old kid away from his family. This is not an easy thing.”
Helen Novak was living with Tristen’s grandfather so he could care for her. According to police reports, Tristen lost his temper when the old lady yelled at him. The boy clocked Novak with her cane and punched her in the stomach and throat.
NY Daily News reports that Tristen has already met with a psychiatrist since the incident and he is also scheduled to meet with a mental health expert from the defense.
There was a previous petition to have Tristen be returned to the care of his family, but it was pulled because his parents stated that they didn’t feel comfortable taking care of Tristen. His family also supports his detainment in adult jail, as it is easier to visit him. The nearest juvenile detention facility is located 80 miles from their home.
Tristen Kurilla’s case has sparked concern among different groups. Marsha Levick of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia said that an adult jail is not suitable for the child’s needs.
“It’s shocking. I’m not sure there’s another state in the country where we would see this, a 10-year-old boy sitting in an adult county jail for two months. This is not in any way to diminish the crime he is charged with, which is the most serious crime, but we don’t treat children in this country this way.”
In an interview by the police, Tristen reportedly stated, “I killed that lady.”
[Image via NY Daily News]