Katerra Lewis has been charged with manslaughter in the death of her 1-year-old daughter, Kelci Devine Lewis. The Alabama mother left an 8-year-old boy and a group of other young children to watch the baby while she went out to a nightclub. The unidentified boy beat the infant to death because she would not stop crying, Birmingham police say.
The Alabama boy, 8, has been charged with murder in the baby beating death. Katerra Lewis, 26, left the baby inside a home with only other children, the oldest being 9, CNN reports.
— WBTW News 13 (@WBTWNews13) November 11, 2015
On October 11, Lewis and a friend reportedly left the children inside the home to go to a bar around 11:30 p.m. The two women returned to the residence around 2 a.m. The Alabama mother did not check in on Kelci Lewis until later in the morning, Birmingham Police Department representative Lt. Sean Edwards said.
The details regarding the 8-year-old boy beating the 1-year-old baby to death were given to the police by the other children inside the home who watched as Kelci was brutally killed. Edwards described the manner in which the infant was killed as “heart-wrenching.”
The police department spokesman said the other children left alone in the house described a scene that suggested to police the boy had become “extremely agitated” when Kelci would not stop crying. Lt. Edwards’ said the baby’s murder was “by far one of the saddest cases I’ve witnessed since I became a police officer.”
“The sad part is you had an adult mother here who had the audacity to leave her 1-year-old in the custody of several other children at the house and none of those kids were over the age of 8,” Lt. Edwards stated during an interview with CNN affiliate WBRC.
The Birmingham police were called to the Lewis home around 10 a.m. Upon arrival, they found Kelci dead inside her crib. The coroner declared the cause of the 1-year-old baby’s death to be severe trauma sustained on both her head and vital organs.
— Global Grind (@GlobalGrind) November 11, 2015
During a candlelight vigil held in honor of Kelci Lewis on October 20, the baby’s grandmother, Waynetta Callens, told the Huntsville Times that the infant was “loved by so many.” Katerra Lewis also attended the vigil but was deemed too distraught to speak to address the crowd.
According to the CNN report, the five children left inside the home belong to the mother charged with manslaughter and her friend. Only the baby reportedly belonged to Lewis. The mother of the boy charged with murder has not been named publicly, and she is not facing any charges related to the killing. The local children’s services agency is reportedly going to become involved with the family of the child killer. It is not currently known if Katerra Lewis is married, Kelci’s father has yet to comment on the matter.
The Birmingham Police Department has never before charged anyone so young with murder. Lt. Edwards said that part of Lewis’ punishment will be living with the fact that she chose to go to the bars instead of taking care of her 1-year-old baby girl.
The 8-year-old boy has been placed into the custody of the state, and he will be tried for the murder of the baby in family court. Katerra Lewis has been released on a $15,000 bond.
[Image via Shutterstock.com]