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A 10-year-old Northeast Pennsylvania boy was charged with beating a 90-year-old woman to death in her bed, reports said.

The boy's lawyer told the Associated Press Tuesday that the boymay have mental issues and hopes to prove the boy is not competent to stand trial.


Tristen Kurilla, from Damascus Township, Wayne County, apparently told his mother that he lost his temper when the elderly woman, Helen Novak, who was staying with the boy's grandfather, yelled at him, according to Reuters. Police told the news service that Tristenpinned Novak down on her bed, held a cane against her throat and beat her to death.

“I killed that lady,” the boy told police, according to Reuters.

After a state trooper asked if he was trying to kill her, Tristen responded, “No, I was only trying to hurt her,” according to Reuters.

His mother brought him to thethe state police barracks in Honesdale on Monday where he was arrested. His mother told police that her son has a history of "mental difficulties."

Tristen's lawyer, Bernard Brown, said he is working to get the boy released on bail and into his grandfather's custody. He is requesting the boy enter a competency hearing and hopefully have the case deferred to juvenile court.

Tristenis being charged as an adult since homicide is not covered under juvenile law in Pennsylvania.

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