Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Teen accused of beating brother to death won't be charged as an adult

Sarah Lundy

Sentinel Staff Writer

2:29 PM EDT, October 16, 2007

Prosecutors are not going to charge the 13-year-old - who is accused of beating his little brother to death - as an adult.

The case against Demetrius Key will remain in juvenile court, the State Attorney's Office announced today.

Investigators say the teenager fatally beat his 8-year-old brother, Levares Key, on Sept. 29 after the boy ate a dessert he wasn't supposed to and picked at a scab until it bled. Demetrius told detectives he feared he would get in trouble for his little brother's actions.

The teenager was arrested and charged with premeditated murder on Oct. 2.

Prosecutors have not filed formal charges yet - so it's unclear if the charge will remain the same or be downgraded to a lesser offense. The decision will be made later this month. They opted not to charge Demetrius as an adult based on his "lack of record" and the fact that he was a victim of physical abuse himself, according to the State Attorney's Office.

The boys' mother, Tangela Key, was arrested and charged with aggravated child neglect. Authorities say she left Levares in the care of the older boy - even after she knew Demetrius had hit Levares in the past.

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