Two sisters have been charged with murder after a three-year-old boy was allegedly beaten to death with a baseball bat for taking a cupcake.
LaShirley Morris and Glenndria Morris were formally charged on Tuesday with two counts of murder, one of aggravated assault and two of first-degree cruelty in connection with the death of Kejuan Mason in Atlanta on 21 October last year.
It is alleged that LaShirley Morris used a bat to repeatedly beat the young boy in the head, stomach, legs and arms while her sister, Kejuan’s legal guardian, used her hand to spank him.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Glenndria Morris told police that Kejuan had “choked” on the cupcake.
She is said to have told officers that the cake was removed from his throat and that he was “fine breathing and talking later”, but she then found him “not breathing or responsive” when he went to take a nap.
She said she dialled 911 when she found the youngster, who was given CPR by a paramedic.
Kejuan was pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Centre, with medical examiners concluding that he had died from blunt force trauma.
Glenndria Morris was arrested on the day of the incident, while her sister was arrested five days later.
Both were granted a $200,000 (£140,000) bond on Monday as the Fulton County District Attorney still had not formally charged them.
Georgia courts must grant a bond – which allows for a set amount of money to be paid to obtain release from police custody – if a suspect has not been charged within 90 days of an arrest.