Teen Charged With Murder In Toddler's Violent Death

| by Emily Smith

A 17-year-old Minneapolis boy was charged with second-degree murder on Monday after allegedly killing his girlfriend’s toddler, according to police.​

The defendant was not named because he hasn’t been certified to be tried as an adult, though it’s likely that will happen, KARE 11 reports. However, he was identified by CBS News as Cody Samuel Feran-Baum. 

On Monday, Feran-Baum was charged with second-degree murder in a juvenile petition.

The toddler’s mother, a 20-year-old woman, was living with the defendant and his grandparents when the attack occurred. She left for work before noon on June 10 and put her 2-year-old daughter, Sophia O'Neill, in the boyfriend’s care.

The 17-year-old then reportedly asked to borrow a neighbor’s cellphone to call his grandmother and noted that the toddler wasn't feeling well, according to the criminal complaint.

The defendant reportedly left with the phone, then returned with Sophia in his arms and asked if he could be taken to the hospital with the child. The neighbor reported that the toddler’s head was “flopping back and forth” and that she appeared to be lifeless.

The neighbor called 911 and immediately began performing CPR on the 2-year-old.

At the hospital it was discovered that the girl’s left kidney was split in half as well as her pancreas. Her stomach, small intestine and liver were torn. She also had eight broken ribs, hemorrhaging lungs and bruises along her scalp, arms, legs, back and abdomen, CBS reports.

The girl was pronounced dead around 9 p.m. that day.

Feran-Baum explained to police that when he was babysitting the girl one or two nights before her death, she would cry and scream for her mother. He found the cry “overwhelming” and felt that he could do nothing about it. When he couldn’t get her to stop, he says he “lost it.”

“[I] put her in a corner and I, I don’t know, I just kicked her in the back,” the defendant told police.

When the toddler wouldn’t stop whimpering, the defendant stomped on her back. Police determined that this incident took place on June 9. Following the brutal beating, the toddler became sick and vomited several times, according to the 20-year-old mother. Doctors attribute these symptoms to multiple organ failure, KARE 11 reports.

Investigators later discussed the case with the child’s 22-year-old biological father, who revealed a video from February of his daughter with a bruised face. In the video, the girl claims that Feran-Baum punched her in the face.

Sources: KARE 11, CBS Local

Photo Credit: CBS Local