Teen who killed mother with hammer sentenced to prison

Posted: May 11, 2012

Kendall Anderson, the South Philadelphia teen who confessed to fatally beating his mother with a claw hammer and trying to cremate her in the oven because she took his PlayStation 2 away in November 2010, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to a lengthy stay in state prison.

Anderson, 17, who formerly attended the disciplinary Daniel Boone School and lived with his mother on Jackson Street near 4th, on May 4 entered into a negotiated guilty plea to third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, abuse of a corpse and related crimes connected to the Nov. 28, 2010 death of Rashida Anderson, 37.

On Wednesday, Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner sentenced Anderson to a term of 25 to 50 years in state prison.

Anderson, who was 16 when he murdered his mother, was prosecuted as an adult.

The youth’s grandmother and other relatives became concerned and called the police after they visited the home the day after the slaying and could not find Rashida Anderson but did see a trail of blood on the floor leading out a back door.

After being taken in for questioning, Anderson told detectives that he attacked his mother with the hammer while she slept because they frequently argued, most recently about the PlayStation she had taken from him.

“I was tired of us arguing and I wanted it to be over,” Anderson said in his police statement, which was read by a detective at his Feb. 16, 2011 preliminary hearing.

As Anderson repeatedly hit his mother, he told detectives, she rolled from the bed onto the floor on top of the video game console.

With his badly injured mother still breathing, he dragged her by her feet down the stairs to the kitchen, where he shoved her head and one shoulder into the hot oven, causing flesh to char.

“I was trying to get rid of her body, to cremate her,” Anderson said in the statement.

After realizing that she was not dead, he beat her on the head with the leg of a kitchen chair. After she died of blunt-impact trauma, Anderson dragged her body to the alley behind the family’s rowhouse, wrapped it in a blanket and covered it with junk.

“I was thinking I couldn’t believe what I did,” Anderson said in his police statement. “I thought I was in too far, in too deep. I had to finish the job.”

Contact Mensah M. Dean at 215-568-8278 or deanm@philly.com.

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