10-year-old boy charged in violent death of 2-year-old cousin

MARION COUNTY, Fla.—A 10-year-old boy was charged in the violent death of his 2-year-old cousin Wednesday in Marion County, authorities said.

Back on June 21, toddler Journee Blyden was taken to a local hospital with severe head trauma and died a few days later, says the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Initially, investigators were told that Journee was injured falling in her playpen, but after a more thorough investigation, detectives with the Sheriff's Office say it was the 10-year-old that caused the injuries that would eventually lead to her death.

Speaking to a juvenile witness, detectives learned of the 10-year-old's physical abuse of the toddler while all three kids were alone and unsupervised. 

Detectives approached the 10-year-old with the other child's testimony, and the 10-year-old confessed that he was running with the toddler when he fell. He then told investigators he put Journee on the countertop and then accidentally pushed her off.

The Medical Examiner told detectives that the injuries to Journee could not have been caused by falling off a counter top and instead would have required excessive force. The examiner ruled the toddler's death a homicide.

The 10-year-old boy is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. He's been booked into the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center and is being held without bond until at least his first appearance hearing in court on Thursday.


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