LIBERTY, Mo. — A 14-year-old boy accused of brutally beating a boy with Asperger’s syndrome at Liberty Middle School admitted to a judge Thursday that he punched and threw the boy to the ground head first.
KCTV reports that the judge decided the juvenile must get help. He is in the custody of the Missouri Division of Youth Services, which oversees juvenile delinquents.
The boy at the center of the bullying investigation entered the hearing surrounded by officers. He sat near his mother and his attorney, who apologized on behalf of his client.
When the judge asked him if he punched and kicked Blake Kitchen, 12, he said “yes ma’am.”
Because of the beating that took place in the school’s cafeteria, Blake had a fractured jaw and ear drum. He was leaking spinal fluid after the attack.
His mom Destiny Kitchen was at the hearing. She said it was difficult to see the child who violently attacked her son in person for the first time.
She wouldn’t talk on camera Thursday, but she did talk a few days after the Feb. 19 attack.
Kitchen described the injuries her son sustained, including a fractured skull and jaw, all at the hands of the alleged bully at his middle school. Kitchen says the bully continued to beat Blake, even after he blacked out.
“He doesn’t remember any of that. I guess that was a blessing. He was unconscious and doesn’t remember being violently attacked. It’s sad he didn’t stop,” Blake’s mother said. “Anytime they moved him he would vomit. Dry heaving constantly, just dry heaving. Him crying and saying it was so painful and he was afraid he was going to die. He was like ‘I don’t want to die.'”
Thursday she said she hopes the juvenile gets the help he needs to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. As for how Blake is doing, his mother said he is doing better, but has a long way to go.
The boy responsible for the attack regrets his actions, his attorney said.
“My client is very sorry about what happened and so is his family. We feel for the victim in this case. I do also want to say my client was also the victim of some bullying at the school. He made some reports for that,” attorney Gregory Culotta said. “Understand that my client was a victim too as far as the bullying. He wishes he could take it back, but he can’t. He is going to deal with the consequences and do the best he can when he goes to the division of youth services.”
The attorney said his client was bullied by many students, but not Blake.
Several of the attacker’s family members were at the hearing, but did not want to speak.
The judge told the juvenile he was very lucky that Blake survived the attack. She told him be must get his anger under control and warned the 14-year-old that he must change his behavior.
The division of youth services will now analyze the boy and decide his best type of treatment he receives and for how long.