A man who angrily beat his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son to death for cursing while playing Mortal Kombat was convicted of first-degree murder on Tuesday.
According to reports, the accused, Thomas Albea, who was 18 at the time of the incident, got angry when X’Zavion Charleston cursed after losing a fight in the video game and admitted to striking him “several times.”
The disturbing and ultimately fatal incident took place in the Waukegan apartment where Albea stayed with his girlfriend.
Having been hit hard by Albea, the child died at 5am the following morning at the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
While at first Albea only said he struck the child once for cursing, he later admitted that he hit him more than once, and very hard. Hard enough to kill him.
According to the autopsy results, as well as a bunch of testimony from doctors, a Cook County Medical examiner concluded that the child was struck at least seven times, and died from injuries to his internal organs.
Albea, along with his attorney, Gillian Gosch, asked for a bench trial, and the case was heard by Judge Mark Levitt who revoked Albea’s $1 million bail and set sentencing for April 22.
For the crime of first-degree murder as well as aggravated battery to a child, Albea is set to receive between 20 and 60 years behind bars.
Before reaching his verdict, Judge Levitt made reference to pictures taken of the child’s injuries, saying, “To say that they were alarming is a great understatement.”
State’s attorney Eric Kalata said Albea’s beating of the child was not any type of example of discipline, “You don’t punch a 3-year-old in the stomach, and you don’t punch a 3-year-old in the stomach again and again and again,” Kalata said.
It remains to be seen how long a sentence Thomas Albea will receive when it comes time for sentencing next month.