WASHINGTON – A D.C. man has pleaded guilty to punching a 4-year-old boy in the stomach, blows that lacerated the boy’s liver, broke several ribs and ultimately killed him.
Kamari Zavon Taylor was left alone in a bedroom to die after the brutal attack while his mother’s boyfriend Peter Hendy II sold marijuana on the street outside the boy’s home.
Hendy, 33, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court Thursday to a second-degree murder charge for Kamari’s death – a lesser count than the original charge of first-degree murder. He will be sentenced in November, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Hendy was watching Kamari Aug. 5 while his mother was at work. Hendy told investigators that he physically punished the boy for talking back to him after Hendy scolded the boy for riding his scooter too far from where Hendy was standing on the street.
According to the attorney’s office, Hendy admitted to hitting Kamari in the boy’s torso four to fives times, including one direct punch to the stomach. After the punches, the boy could not stand and fell to the floor inside his home in the 5600 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE.
Hendy gave the boy water and then put the boy in bed before returning outside to sell marijuana. He returned to the apartment an hour later and noticed Kamari had a “blank look” on his face but yet again Hendy went back outside to sell drugs.
Around noon, Hendy called Kamari’s mother to tell her that he had given the boy a “body shot” and that the boy’s legs were wobbly.
Two hours later, Hendy returned a second time and saw that Kamari wasn’t breathing. He called 911 and performed CPR on the boy.
However Kamari was unresponsive when emergency crews arrived. And he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Court records said that Kamari’s injuries were so severe the boy likely died soon after his Hendy punched him.
An autopsy determined that the boy died of multiple blunt impact injuries. The medical examiners office said that the injuries to the liver were caused by “a severe amount of force” and that a closed-fist punch could have caused the damage, according to court documents.
Hendy was initially charged with first-degree murder when he arrested in August.
WTOP’s Amanda Iacone contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.