TERRYTOWN, La. - A Louisiana teenager is being held for allegedly killing his 5-year-old half-sister with wrestling moves he saw on TV, according to police.
The 13-year-old boy from Terrytown, La., allegedly told the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office in Louisiana that he was practicing “WWE” style wrestling moves on his sister, Viloude Louis, while his mother was out on June 16.
The boy, whose name is being withheld, told homicide detective Matt Vasqez he jumped on his sister and struck her with his elbow, according to a police statement. She complained of pain, but the boy allegedly told Vasquez he continued to “slam punch and elbow her” for an additional three minutes until his mother called to check on them, ABC News reported.
After the boy finished wrestling his sister, she complained of stomach pains and retreated upstairs, according to the statement. A half hour later, the boy found the girl unconscious and called 911, police said. The girl was transported to the hospital where she died of multiple injuries, including internal bleeding, broken ribs and liver lacerations.
The cause of Louis’s death was initially unclassified, John Fortunato, chief public information officer for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office, told ABCNews.com. But after the police interviewed the boy about what happened and learned of the autopsy results, they declared it a homicide.
Vasquez questioned the boy June 17, who provided them with details about wrestling Louis. According to the statement from the Sheriff’s office, “the 13-year-old was smiling and appeared to enjoy talking about the wrestling moves and physical abuse during the interview that he was conducting on the victim.”
The boy was booked into a Juvenile Assessment Center in Harvey, La., on one count of second-degree murder, said Fortunato. ”The investigation is still ongoing, and we feel confident that the information he provided us is accurate.”
After the arrest, the case was turned over to the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s office. Due to the ongoing nature of the case, the office would not comment.
According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, children in Louisiana can be prosecuted in adult criminal court only if they are over age 14.
Justin Hollister, the supervising court attorney at Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court, told ABC News an initial probable cause hearing took place yesterday, and the defense council raised the issue of assessing the boy’s competency. Hollister said the next hearing is scheduled for July 25.
Nelson Bowman, a lawyer with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s office who represented the boy yesterday, would not comment on the case. He said it has not been decided whether or not he will continue to serve as the boy’s lawyer.
Adlourdes Desvallons, the victim’s mother and the boy’s stepmother, could not be reached for comment, nor could the victim’s father Vilger Louis.
WWE released a statement offering condolences to Louis’s family but urging people not to associate the death directly with their organization.
“Authorities have already charged the accused with second degree murder and determined that this was not an accidental death due to a wrestling move…It is illogical to conclude that the repeated, brutal and ultimately fatal beating of a 5-year-old little girl by a teenager could be confused with imitation of WWE action seen on TV,” WWE said in statement.
The case bears similarities to the 2001 conviction of Lionel Tate, the 14-year-old Florida boy charged with murdering 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick by holding her in a headlock and slamming her head into the table while they were wrestling. Tate was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. His lawyers maintained that the death was an accident and that he was trying to imitate wrestling moves he saw on television.