10-Year-Old Murder Suspect Housed In Adult Pennsylvania Jail

| by Will Hagle

A 10-year-old boy is currently facing murder charges for allegedly beating a 90-year-old woman to death. According to the AP, the boy’s grandfather had been caring for the woman, Helen Novak, in his home when the boy was visiting. The boy’s mother has claimed that the boy said the incident occurred after Novak yelled at him and “he got mad, lost his temper and grabbed a cane and put it around Novak’s throat.” The boy is one of the youngest to face an adult homicide charge in Pennsylvania. 

Because of his young age, the suspect has been given certain privileges separate from the rest of those at the adult penitentiary where he is being held. He was, for instance, recently given privileges to have physical contact with his family, “so his mom can give him a hug,” as attorney Scott Bennett says. He is also meeting with a psychiatrist, receiving schooling from a certified instructor and being housed away from the rest of the jail population. 

Bennett is fighting for the boy to be transferred to a youth facility. “He’s a 10-year-old kid away from his family. This is not an easy thing,” Bennett said. According to, chief counsel of Philadelphia’s Juvenile Law Center Marsha Levick agrees. “It’s shocking,” Levick said, “I’m not sure there’s another state in the country where we would see this, a 10-year-old boy sitting in an adult county jail for two months. This is not in any way to diminish the crime he is charged with, which is the most serious crime, but we don’t treat children in this country this way.”

Sources: The Associated Press, / Image Source: WNEP