A Pennsylvania mother and her boyfriend were arrested Tuesday night, accused of beating their 4-year-old son to death because he spilled his cereal, authorities said.
Lisa Smith, 19, and her boyfriend Keiff King, 26, of Willow Grove, face charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and other crimes in connection with the death of their son, Tahjir, FOX 29 reported.
After the child admitted spilling his breakfast, Smith and King disciplined Tahjir by punching him in the back of the head, before stripping him naked from the waist down and taking turns smacking his buttocks with a sandal, Philly.com reported, citing Smith’s statement to police.
After Tahjir urinated on himself and became unresponsive from the beatings, King placed him in the shower and blasted him with cold and hot water, Smith told police.
The little boy was "severely punished and beaten and then burned in a shower," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said, according to the station.
Smith put clothes on her son and the couple took the child outside where they called 911 and fabricated a story about why the boy wasn’t responsive, the station reported.
Police said the home was filthy, and crawling with roaches, according to the station.
According to the coroner, the child had previous injuries including broken ribs, the station reported.
"Unfortunately, it looks like the child didn't go through this the first time last night," Steele said. "It's gonna be our time to stand up for a child who can't speak for himself anymore.”
The couple could face a murder charge depending what the final autopsy results reveal, the DA said. King and Smith were being held on a $500,000 bail each, and have a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 31, according to the station.
Smith is also currently eight months pregnant, the station reported.