[UPDATE] Mother of teen who allegedly suffocated young siblings says he was ‘forced’ to kill by abusive stepfather

The mother of an Indiana teen accused of murdering his half-sister and stepbrother last year has attempted to explain his alleged violence as the result of child abuse.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, the boy was arrested last month on suspicion of fatally suffocating 23-month-old Desiree McCartney and 11-month-old Nathaniel Ritz on two separate occasions before mutilating a kitten.

Christina McCartney told reporters this week that her so is “not a monster” but was compelled to kill after abuse at the hands of his stepfather.

He reportedly confessed to killing the two young children in an attempt to save them from the “hell” he saw them living through. The teen lived with his mother, her boyfriend and the two young victims at the time of the homicides.

The teen was caring for Desiree McCartney at the time of her fatal injury, according to the mother who said she came home in May 2017 to find the toddler unresponsive. The girl died five days later, as reported by the New York Post.

Less than two months later, the suspect was also babysitting Ritz when the baby died from suffocation.

McCartney claimed her son was “forced” to act in such a violent way after witnessing his siblings being abused by the man.

“He pushed them down on purpose,” she said of the stepfather. “He would lock them up in the bedroom to try to shut them up. He painted a pretty bad picture. As a mom, that’s hard to swallow that was going on and I didn’t know.”

The mother went on to allege that the man threatened to kill her if the teen did not obey his orders to kill.

“This man destroyed many people’s lives,” she said. “My son will never be the same an my kids are gone. those were my babies. They were my life, but he still walk free. That’s not right.”

[Feature Photo: Desiree McCartney and Nathaniel Ritz/Handout]