MIAMI (AFP) - An eight-year-old American boy accused of beating to death a year-old baby while her mother was at a nightclub, has been charged with murder, local media said on Wednesday.
One of six children left alone for hours in a Birmingham, Alabama, home, the boy attacked the infant to make her stop crying, officials said.
"The one-year-old suffered severe head trauma, as well as major internal organ damage which ultimately led to her death," Birmingham police spokesman Sean Edwards said, according to the news website AL.com.
"It is believed that while the mother and friend were at the club, the eight-year-old viciously attacked the one-year-old because the one-year-old would not stop crying," Edwards said.
The baby, Kelci Devine Lewis, was found unresponsive in her crib on Oct 12 and later pronounced dead, AL.com said.
Her mother, Katerra Lewis, has been charged with manslaughter, the publication said.
Apart from the victim, who turned one in May, five children ranging in age from two to eight were alone in the house, where Lewis was temporarily staying with friends, it reported.
The mother was released Monday on bail.
The Department of Human Resources said it had no prior complaints concerning Lewis or her daughter.
The DHR is holding the eight-year-old boy and said it will not release his name.
It is rare, but not unheard of in the United States, for children involved in the deaths of other children to face serious charges.
An 11-year-old boy from Tennessee was charged with first degree murder last month after he shot and killed his eight-year-old neighbour, after arguing over a puppy.