U.S. Latest News

Parents use shoe to beat 4-year-old son to death because he spilled his cereal

By William Martin 1:16 PM January 24, 2018
Lisa Smith and Keiff King

A young boy has died after his parents beat him because he spilled his cereal, according to police in Pennsylvania.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Abington Township Police Chief John A. Livingood announced the arrest of Lisa Smith, 19, and Keiff King, 26, both of Willow Grove in Abington Township, for aggravated assault, criminal attempted murder, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and related charges in the death of 4-year-old Tahjir Smith.

At approximately 6:11 p.m., Abington Township Police responded to a report of a respiratory emergency.

Paramedics arrived to find the boy limp and unresponsive.

He was transported to Abington Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Montgomery County Detectives and Abington Police began a joint investigation, which revealed that earlier in the day, Tahjir had been beaten by both defendants at their home in the 1800 block of Lukens Avenue after he had spilled his breakfast cereal.

He was repeatedly struck in the head and torso, using a shoe.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Ian Hood with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office completed an autopsy on the child.

In addition to the fresh injuries to the boy’s body, Dr. Hood also found old rib fractures.

Dr. Hood is awaiting further test results before ruling on the cause and manner of death.

“This senseless death of a 4-year-old boy at the hands of the very adults who were supposed to care for him and keep him safe is a horrible tragedy,” said Steele.

“This is the face of domestic violence, a preschooler was beaten until he stopped breathing because he spilled his cereal. We have charged the mother and her boyfriend and will be the voice for justice for Tahjir,” Steele added.

The suspects were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge John D. Kessler who set bail for each defendant at $500,000.

They failed to post bail and were remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.