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Md. teen charged as adult in death of baby sister

- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2013

The Montgomery County teenager charged with killing his baby sister over the weekend also was watching his 3-year-old brother alone in their bug-infested apartment, prosecutors said Monday during a bond review.

A county superior court judge ruled that Jonathan Aguiluc will remain behind bars until his next court date, but the 14-year-old White Oak youth will be transferred to the county's juvenile detention facility while investigators determine whether he should be tried as an adult.

Because of the serious nature of the first-degree murder charges, the case originated in adult court, explained State's Attorney John McCarthy. In the coming weeks, a waiver study will be conducted, which helps determine whether the crime should be handled in adult or juvenile court.

For his bond review, the young man appeared via closed-circuit television, and used a Spanish translator speaking through a telephone in the courtroom. Dressed in a jail-issued, dark green T-shirt, his hair shaved on the sides, the teen said few words, cradling the phone in his hand as he listened intently to the translator.

The teen's public defender, Mary Siegfried, said her client had no prior offenses, and until Monday had been going to school daily.

"He's not a problem in school, he goes to school every day" Ms. Siegfried said. "His mother works every night."

The family lives in the 11000 block of Lockwood Drive in a three-story apartment building. On Monday, most doors in the complex remained shut, though children's bikes and toys were seen on several porches. One apartment window had a small wreath of pink flowers in the window.

It was unclear whether any family members were in the courtroom Monday.

Gloria Yanes, 39, was working an overnight shift Thursday and had left her son to watch his 3-year-old brother and 7-month-old sister, court papers state.

When she returned home at about 6:10 a.m. Friday, she found the infant, Larissa Yanes, unresponsive in her car seat, which had been placed in the living room.

Police interviewed the 14-year-old, who told them that he had beaten his baby sister "with hands, elbows and belt," according to court documents. When the baby began to cry, he told police that he "placed his hands on the victim's nose and mouth, restricting her breathing."

The boy then walked around the apartment with the girl in his arms, before placing her in her car seat. He went to bed and was awakened the next day when his mother found the baby.

Mr. McCarthy clarified a court document that stated the infant had "several suspicious injuries" to her back, chest, buttocks and face. He said the teenager had admitted to striking the child, but that further inspection of the baby's injuries showed that they were caused by "post-mortem bug activity," or proof that the apartment "was infested with bugs."

The preliminary hearing for the teenager is scheduled for Feb. 22, and Mr. McCarthy said he anticipated a decision on whether or not the case would move to juvenile court.

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