A 4-year-old boy spilled his cereal on the floor. Then his mother and her boyfriend beat him to death.
WILLOW GROVE, Pa. - Shortly after calling police in a panic, the pregnant mother of four-year-old Tahjir Smith began to carry her unresponsive, battered son outside, laying him on the ground as they waited for paramedics to arrive.
Shortly after 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22, Tahjir Smith was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The mother, Lisa Smith, 19, and her boyfriend, Keiff King, 26, have since been charged with aggravated assault, criminal attempted murder, endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses in the death of Smith's four-year-old son, according to NBC-10.
According to police, Smith allegedly told detectives that her son spilled breakfast cereal on the floor, which she later confronted him about. Smith then told her son to get in a "position" similar to a men's pushup position, but the boy moved, according to investigators.
Smith then spoke with King about her son's behavior, police said. King later allegedly punched the boy in the back of the head inside a bedroom. King and Smith then placed the boy on a bed and repeatedly struck him on the head and torso with a blue "Levi's" sandal, officials said.
They then placed the boy in the shower and, according to an ABC-7 report, scalded and burned him with hot water.
Smith told police that she admitted to previously beating the boy with shoes on prior occasions as "punishment" when he misbehaved.
Both suspects were arraigned after they each failed to post $500,000 bail and are currently being held in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.
Officials are still working to confirm an official cause of death, though investigators say the boy was also suffering from old rib fractures.