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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A 9-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of a toddler in a St. Louis suburb.

Associate Judge Walter Brandon on Thursday ordered the Illinois Department of Human Services to take custody of the child, who was charged as a juvenile in the Aug. 22 death of the 14-month-old boy in Cahokia.

Defense attorney Bill Walker said the boy's mother and grandmother both died years ago and that the other adults in his life were detained after being charged with child endangerment. The Belleville News Democrat ( http://bit.ly/TNAw4f) reports that prosecutors alleged those three adults left the toddler unsupervised with four other children.

The judge ordered that the child undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Walker argued that the issue was his age, not his mental state.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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