A 9-year-old girl has been charged with assault after she allegedly beat her 4-year-old brother to death using a broomstick, ABC News reports.
Court records reveal Yolanda Coale, 53, the deceased boy’s aunt and legal guardian, heard children screaming on Thursday as she woke up. Coale told officers she discovered the 9-year-old girl beating the 4-year-old with a broomstick. When officers arrived at the Mobile, Alabama residence, they found the boy injured and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Coale was charged with aggravated child abuse the following day.
The criminal complaint, as confirmed by local outlet WPMI, read that the 9-year-old “did willfully torture, willfully abuse and cruelly beat” her brother. Authorities also discovered the boy had injuries on his body prior to his death that matched up with signs of long-term abuse.
Coale’s bail was set at $150,000, and a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. Coale reportedly did not have an attorney who could speak for her, according to the documents.
“I’ve been over there before. It’s really a nice house, it’s clean on the inside and the kids have nice toys. The kids always dress nice, so I really don’t understand what happened,” a neighbor told WPMI. “They seemed like a really nice family and there’s always a lot of kids over there playing all the time, so it was really devastating to hear what happened.”