A mother and her boyfriend were arrested after beating her 4-year-old son to death for spilling cereal. Lisa Smith, 19 years old, and Keiff King, 26 years old, were charged with aggravated assault, attempted murder, and other related charges.
The report says that 4-year-old Tahjir Smith was repeatedly struck in the head and torso by his mother and her boyfriend after he spilled his cereal in their house on 1800 block of Lukens Avenue. Tahjir became unconscious and that’s when his mother called the police.
According to the police, they went to the area around 6:10 p.m. following a call of respiratory emergency. There they found Lisa, who was currently pregnant, wandering around outside while Tahjir was lying on the ground, limp and unresponsive. He was rushed to the Abington Memorial Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
The preliminary autopsy report revealed that apart from the fresh injuries, there were other external and internal injuries such as rib fractures, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
Lisa admitted that she and King were disciplining the boy because he spilled his cereal. They made him get into push-up position, laid the boy in bed, and without pants and underwear, they hit him with a blue Levi’s sandal. She said King “punched Tahjir in the back of the head,” and then put him in a scalding shower and burned him.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele considers this incident a “horrible tragedy.” He added, “This is the face of domestic violence: a preschooler was beaten until he stopped breathing because he spilled his cereal.”
Both Lisa and King are facing charges of aggravated assault, attempted murder, and other related charges with bail set at $500,000. Charges may still be increased to first-degree murder after the autopsy is completed and if convicted, they would both be imprisoned for life.