An Indiana boy who was 13 when he allegedly killed his two young siblings will be tried as an adult in their suffocation deaths.
A Ripley County judge found Nickalas J. Kedrowitz competent to stand trial before waiving him into adult court on Aug. 30.
His double-murder trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 18, 2020.
Kedrowitz, who’s now 15, was arrested in August 2018 in the May 2017 killing of his 23-month-old half-sister, Desiree McCartney, and the July 2017 killing of his 11-month-old stepbrother, Nathaniel Ritz.
Both were slain at the family’s home in Osgood, about 60 miles southeast of Indianapolis.
Ripley County Prosecutor Richard Hertel tells the Madison Courier that Indiana law allows juveniles as young as 12 to be tried as adults for murder.
Motivations Remain Unclear
Kedrowitz told investigators that he killed his siblings so that they wouldn’t “have to live in the hell that he did,” prosecutors allege.
In a probable cause affidavit filed in court told investigators that he used a towel to suffocate his half sister and a blanket to kill his stepbrother.
According to the affidavit, the teen told investigators who questioned him about his siblings’ deaths that “he had a conversation with God about them, but he could not talk about it because he had promised God he wouldn’t tell anyone.”
Under further questioning, the teen began “talking about saving Desiree and Nathaniel from hell and the chains of fire,” it states. He then added that “he didn’t want them to have to live in the hell that he did,” before going on to describe how he suffocated the children.
When asked what that “hell” was, the boy replied “chores,” before asking investigators if they’d seen the list of daily chores he had to complete, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, the teen’s grandmother told investigators that when she asked him why he killed his siblings, he replied that “he didn’t want them to be treated the way he had been.” She said he also described how he’d firmly held the towel and blanket over their heads to suffocate them.
An uncle told investigators that the day before Nathaniel’s death, the teen told him that Nathaniel’s father had bloodied the teen’s nose.
Hertel said the teen’s motivations remain unclear, but that doctors who will examine him may be able to shed light on them.
“In my time here, which has been 19 years, I’m not sure that I’ve seen anything quite as disturbing and as final as something like this,” he said during a news conference in Versailles, the county seat.
The prosecutor said that shortly before the teen’s half-sister’s death, the boy had killed a kitten by squeezing it, telling relatives it had scratched him.
Hertel said the suspect’s father is currently in prison and that he believes the boy’s mother is cooperating with the investigation.
Neighbor Becky Horn told WLWT-TV that the children’s deaths stunned the small community.
“Our whole street, we were in tears for weeks over this,” Horn said.