WASHINGTON – Jonathan Aguiluz, 14, the teenager charged with second degree murder in the death of his 6-month-old sister, will be tried in juvenile court, authorities said Friday.
Police originally thought the marks on his sister Larissa’s body were caused by a beating, but now investigator’s say the marks were the result of insect bites after her death.
EARLIER – Monday – 2/11/2013, 7:28pm ET
WASHINGTON – The case of a 14-year-old Silver Spring boy who is charged as an adult in the death of his baby sister could be moved to juvenile court.
At a bond hearing Monday, the public defender requested an additional hearing for the possibility of reducing the first-degree murder charges against Jonathan Aguiluz, who told Montgomery County police detectives that he beat his sister.
If the charges are reduced to second-degree murder, Aguiluz’s case would be moved to juvenile court.
Aguiluz told detectives he beat his 6-month-old sister with his hands and a belt, which caused her to cry. He said he then covered her mouth and nose with his hands until she stopped crying and put her in her car seat inside the family’s apartment, in the 11600 block of Lockwood Drive, police say.
Gloria Yanes told police she found her baby girl, Larissa Yanes, unresponsive about 6 a.m. Friday after she tried to wake her for a feeding. Larissa was taken to Holy Cross Hospital where she died just before 7 a.m.
Yanes told police that she regularly left the baby girl and her 3-year-old daughter in the care of their brother, while she worked overnight.
In court Monday, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy says further examination of the child’s body found marks on her body were bug bites.
“If you looked at the pictures you know exactly why police made the conclusions that they did,” McCarthy says of the medical examiner’s report.
“They were fair and reasonable conclusions. But it turns out they were bug bites and we wanted the court to know that because those are the facts.”
Preliminary autopsy results found the girl’s cause of death was asphyxia.
Results of a a full autopsy are still pending, says Lucille Baur, spokeswoman with the Montgomery County Police.
At his bond hearing Monday, Aguiluz wore a green jumpsuit and appeared via closed circuit TV. He listened to the proceedings with the help of a translator who was on the phone with him.
Described as a baby-faced, stocky teen, Aguiluz goes to Key Middle School in Silver Spring. He has no prior criminal record and goes to school regularly, according to his lawyer’s testimony before the judge.
Deputy District Public Defender Mary Siegfriend told the judge Aguiluz has never been in trouble with the law.
Aguiluz remains charged with first-degree murder. The next hearing in his case is Feb 22 at 10 a.m.
He remains held without bond, but is being moved to Noyes, a juvenile detention facility in Montgomery County.
Editor’s Note: In previous versions, the defendant’s name was incorrectly spelled. Police say the teen has provided different spellings to his name.