Out of ‘abundant caution,’ 10-year-old must stay in custody

Posted: September 06, 2012

A Family Court judge ruled Wednesday that a 10-year-old boy accused of viciously beating a Vietnamese immigrant in her Juniata Park apartment last month should be kept in custody "in abundant caution" to the community before his trial.

This was the second time in the past couple of weeks that Family Court Administrative Judge Kevin Dougherty decided as such, despite efforts by the boy's mother and his public defender, Dan Bartoli.

In court Wednesday, the 10-year-old's godfather told the judge that the boy could stay with him, his wife and 15-year-old daughter in their Holmesburg home, about eight miles from the victim's residence.

The judge declined and set a trial date of Sept. 25.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Carobus said the commonwealth needed more time to investigate whether another person will be arrested in this case.

The 10-year-old, who lived with his mother on L Street near Luzerne in Juniata Park, was arrested the night of Aug. 6 after his mother told cops he was involved in the beating of 51-year-old Minh Tran in her nearby studio apartment that afternoon. Tran said at the time that she was awoken in her apartment by three boys and beaten with sticks, a rope, a plunger and a plant, and had $20 stolen.

Cops have also determined that a 7-year-old boy was in the victim's apartment. Because he is under 10 and this is not a murder case, he cannot be criminally prosecuted under state law.

Police are still investigating who the third suspect is.

Contact Julie Shaw at 215-854-2592 or shawj@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @julieshawphilly.

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