New Jersey Man Punches, Kills 2-Year-Old Jamil Baskerville, Jr. After Arguing With Girlfriend Over Food

When little Jamil Baskerville, Jr. cried out after his mother began arguing with her boyfriend, he probably wanted nothing more than to be held and for the yelling to cease.

Instead, Pennsauken, New Jersey, resident Zachary Tricoche allegedly approached the wailing 2-year-old and punched him square in the chest, sending Jamil flying off of the bed that he was sitting on. After the toddler was able to find his footing again, Tricoche then told him to put his hands up before swinging at the child once more, this time, knocking him unconscious. Sadly, Jamil would never get up again.

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On Tuesday, August 23, Tricoche faced a Camden Superior Court judge on first-degree murder charges in the death of young Jamil, and was subsequently held on $1 million bail. As reported by Philadelphia Inquirer, the incident, which occurred Saturday (August 20), initially stemmed from Baskerville’s mother, who has not been named, purchasing groceries that Tricoche did not care to eat. During the argument, Tricoche was said to have pushed the woman, which caused Jamil to become distressed.

The first punch connected with the little boy’s chest, and caused him to fall backward and hit his head on a wall. As he stood up, Tricoche was said to have told him to defend himself as a boxer would before delivering the fatal blow. Jamil then vomited, before passing out from his injuries.

He was rushed to nearby Cooper University Hospital, but it was too late to save his life, according to Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah in court on Tuesday.

“Essentially, [Jamil] bled to death internally,” she expressed, adding that the blunt force caused to his liver by Tricoche was simply too much for the 29-pound boy to take. He was pronounced dead at 12:08 a.m. Sunday morning.

Also appearing in court Tuesday were relatives of both the accused and his victim, including Jamil’s grandfather, Gerome DeShields. Understandably upset over the gruesome matter in which his grandchild was killed, DeShields hopes the court seeks the death penalty against the 24-year-old Tricoche.

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“He should be put to sleep,” DeShields expressed, “because he killed my grandson. He was 2 years old. There should be no reason that you want to hit him.”

Neighbors who lived close to Jamil and his mother also expressed their deepest condolences over the little boy’s death.

“You feel for a young, innocent child,” Claudia Jones, a resident who also lived on the same block as Jamil, relayed to Philadelphia Inquirer. Her husband, Cliff, who also sympathized over the loss, made mention of seeing a man often mowing the lawn outside of Baskerville’s home, but couldn’t recall whether or not that man was Zachary Tricoche.

Sadly, Jamil’s sudden death is the latest mention of child abuse that has raged through national headlines lately. In late July, as noted by the Inquisitr, 27-year-old Marquis Jamall Young of Lawrence, Kansas, was arrested after tossing his 6-month-old stepdaughter in the trash after she received numerous injuries from bed bugs and other unknown sources. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse, and the infant was removed from her mother’s care as she had been previously arrested for mistreating the girl in the past.

One month before that instance, a stepmother in San Antonio, Texas, was sentenced to 99 years in prison for allegedly beating and starving 5-year-old Josiah Williams. As noted by KEN-5, Crystal Williams told the jury in her case that Josiah was a “picky eater” and that no matter what she attempted to feed him, he refused to eat. He passed away just two days before Christmas in 2012. Crystal would go on to plead guilty for causing injury to a child, which is considered a felony in the state of Texas.

[Photo by Sitikka/Thinkstock by Getty Images]