Kansas City girl, 5, may face murder charges in drowning

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 10, 2011 12:18 AM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - A 5-year-old girl could face murder charges in the recent drowning of a toddler in a bathtub, police said on Thursday.

Kansas City police are waiting for a medical examiner's report on how Jermane Johnson Jr., died, but have investigated the death as a homicide, spokesman Darin Snapp said Thursday.

"I've been in law enforcement for 20 years and it's the youngest suspect I can remember," Snapp said. "It's extremely rare."

Johnson, 18 months old, was in a Kansas City house on June 3rd with other children, but the 16-year-old girl who was supposed to be looking after them fell asleep, Snapp said.

Investigators learned through interviews that a 5-year-old girl in the house got irritated at the boy, Snapp said.

"She said she got angry because he would not stop crying and she held him under the water until he stopped crying," Snapp said.

Snapp said a decision on to handle the case will be left up to prosecutors after the medical examiner's report is released.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher and Peter Bohan)