Police are accusing a 14-year-old girl of first-degree murder in the beating death of a homeless man in a Scarborough cemetery — the first time in at least 30 years a GTA girl that young has faced that charge.

Arrested early yesterday, the girl appeared in court hours later accused of the deliberate, premeditated killing of Benson George Smith, 61, who was severely beaten in sprawling Pine Hills Cemetery Sept. 12.
Smith died in hospital six days later.

A review of newspaper databases back to 1977 turned up no other GTA girls aged 14 or younger facing first-degree murder, a charge reserved for deliberate, premeditated kill­ings.

Police waited until after the girl’s court appearance to announce her arrest and later refused to elaborate, citing the Youth Criminal Justice Act, which forbids the publication of details that could identify minors.

Investigators are also seeking a 26-year-old Toronto man in the case and say he will also face a charge of first-degree murder. A Canada-wide warrant is issued for Merhawi Tekle.

Anyone with information should contact Toronto police at 416-808-4104 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS.