13-year-old Armstrong Desvallons of Terrytown, La. was sentenced to three years in a secured juvenile facility for killing his 5-year-old sister, Viloude Louis, while practicing wrestling moves.
Judge Andrea Price Janzen sentenced Desvallons after receiving conflicting testimonies about the boy’s character from his stepfather and members of the Marrero Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
Vilger Louis, the boy’s stepfather and the victim’s father, said that Armstrong was disrespectful and likely to repeat the crime again. He said he would not allow Armstrong back in his house. Members of the church, which Armstrong and his family are a part of, said they would care for Armstrong if he was released on probation.
"It's almost as if I'm dealing with two different children here," Janzen said.
The tragedy occurred in June of this year, The Times-Picayune reported. Adlourdes Desvallons, the children’s mother, went to the store, leaving Armstrong in charge of watching his half-sister. Armstrong later told detectives that he practiced “World Wrestling Entertainment”-style moves on his sister, picking her up, slamming her on the bed, punching her in the stomach, and hitting her with his elbow. He reportedly hit her 15 to 20 times.
Viloude complained of a stomachache and went upstairs to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Armstrong found her there 30 minutes later. He walked her down to the sofa, and she soon stopped breathing. He then called the police. While her death was first left unclassified, it was later found that she had suffered broken ribs, internal bleeding and a lacerated liver. Armstrong was booked with second-degree murder.
Armstrong was charged with manslaughter, but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of negligent homicide, AL.com reported.
His mother, Allourdes Desvallons, a Haitian immigrant, told Janzen through an interpreter Viloude was "very special" to her, but that she would accept any sentence the judge handed down.
"What he did, it's like he ended my life," Desvallons told Janzen. "What the judge would decide, I would comply."
Armstrong will receive education and counseling for grief, trauma, and anger at the facility. He may be released before his three years are up, depending on his progress.