A 14-year-old Florida boy allegedly beat a 3-year-old girl to death so she would stop crying, WJXT-TV reports.
Authorities in Jacksonville on Friday arrested Johnathan Godwin on a warrant for murder and aggravated child abuse.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the killing occurred on August 16, when Godwin was left alone to babysit the girl and two other kids.
Godwin reportedly became upset with the girl because she was crying, so he allegedly hit her repeatedly on her head, chest, legs and back using his fist and a belt.
Police officers were dispatched to a business shortly after 9 p.m. after Godwin’s mother found the girl unconscious. Emergency crews rushed the 3-year-old to a hospital, but she was later pronounced dead there, according to the news station.
An autopsy determined the girl’s death was a homicide.
Godwin reportedly admitted to harming the girl, and investigators determined that he had a history of “abusing and burning another small child,” police wrote in the news release.
“If the mother had known the background of this 14-year-old, she probably would have never left this child with this kid, given he had a history of abuse with other children,” Ken Jefferson, a safety expert, told the television station.
“When I heard about this case, it saddened my heart to know a 3-year-old is deceased.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office did not comment on whether the mother might also face criminal charges, according to the New York Post.