Prosecutors have charged a 12-year-old boy with capital murder in the death of a 10-month-old baby who had been left unattended by adults at a home in southeast Houston.
The 12-year-old, who has not been identified, remains in the custody of Harris County juvenile authorities after the Harris County District Attorney’s Office filed the charge on Tuesday.
The baby, Deandre Washington, suffered blunt force trauma to the head on March 12 at the home where he lived with his mother and siblings. Deandre was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital, where he died two days later, officials said.
Houston police and Children’s Protective Services have begun investigations into the circumstances leading to Deandre’s death.
CPS officials said Deandre’s mother and the mother of the accused boy left at least five children alone at the duplex in the 3700 block of Lehall, near Scott.
“It appears they just told them, ‘We’re going to run out and we’re going to be back,’ ” said Gwen Carter, a CPS spokeswoman. “When they came back, the infant was unconscious.”
It wasn’t clear whether the 12-year-old was supposed to be watching out for the children or if another person had been given that responsibility, Carter said.
“We talked to everybody,” Carter said. “We were unsure as to what had occurred.”
CPS investigators asked Deandre’s mother to place her other children with relatives until their investigation has been completed, Carter said.
Carter said that about one year ago, the agency had looked into an issue involving one of Deandre’s siblings.
“We had tried to visit with her (the mother) but we couldn’t locate her,” Carter said. “We weren’t able to complete our investigation.”
She wasn’t aware of any CPS dealings with the mother of the 12-year-old. Neither parent could be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Tawanna Scott, the mother of the 12-year-old, told KHOU (Channel 11) that police investigators told her that her son confessed to the crime. She said her son has denied responsibility for the death.
Deandre’s mother moved out of the duplex on Lehall days after the incident, said neighbors, including Keisha Brown.
“After it happened, I didn’t see them again,” Brown said.