Warning: This story contains descriptions that some readers will find disturbing.
A Virginia teenager is accused of killing a younger boy and has been officially charged as an adult, said officials.
Robert Bolsinger-Hartshorn, 14, is facing a second-degree murder charge in connection with the killing of 4-year-old Larkin Carr, reported ABC13 on Wednesday.
The suspect is the son of the girlfriend of Larkin’s father, Hank Smith. Catherine Louise Seals was identified as the mother of Bolsinger-Hartshorn.
On Nov. 12, 2018, paramedics discovered Larkin unconscious in a Norfolk home with no pulse and bruises on 80 to 90 percent of his body, WAVY reported.
In January, Bolsinger-Hartshorn was charged with second-degree murder. Seals was later charged with child abuse, the report said.
Months later, Smith was arrested on child abuse charges.
Prosecutors have alleged that Larkin was under the care of Bolsinger-Hartshorn before he was found unresponsive.
Larkin’s cousin, Margie Thomas, told CrimeOnline that she was happy that the boy is being charged as an adult.
“I am overwhelmed with joy knowing he is being held accountable and charged as an adult. He took the life of my sweet baby cousin and knowing this gives us peace. We promised to be Larkin’s voice and this is the first step to justice,” she said.
Earlier this year, Judge Lauri D. Hogge denied Seals bond, saying that she was “speechless“ after seeing photos of Larkin and hearing the case, WAVY reported.
“I may go vomit,“ Hogge added.
An autopsy found that Larkin suffered blunt force trauma to his abdomen and head, WAVY reported, adding that he had 10 welts on his scalp. There was also a blow so severe that his small intestine ruptured.
Larkin’s mother, Tracey Quinones, said she noticed bruises months before the death.
“They’re supposed to protect your children from situations like this,“ Quinones told WAVY. “I feel like they failed my son and they failed his family.”
Facts About Crime in the United States
Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).
The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.
The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.
While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.