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Mom, boyfriend accused of beating 4-year-old boy to death over spilled cereal

PHILADELPHIA -- A Philadelphia couple is accused of beating a 4-year-old boy to death for spilling his cereal, KYW reports.

Lisa Smith, 19, and her 26-year-old boyfriend, Keiff King, have been charged with murder in connection with the Jan. 22 death of Tahjir Smith.

Paramedics found the 4-year-old unresponsive inside a home in Willow Grove. Lisa Smith, who is his mother, initially told police she was walking home from a local mall when Tahjir became "wobbly" and struggled to breathe.

But his death was recently ruled a homicide after an autopsy showed that he died of multiple blunt and thermal injuries, as well as shock.

 

The boy was reportedly forced to hold a push-up position for a long period of time. When he dropped from the position, Smith and her boyfriend allegedly hit him on the head and struck his body repeatedly with a sandal.

The boyfriend also admitted to throwing the 4-year-old under a scalding shower, which an expert later discovered burned his shoulder.

The autopsy also revealed old rib fractures, showing that the beating that led to the boy's death was not the first time he was abused.