does this bother anyone else?

  1. this just sickens me...makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up...how terribly tragic...



    http://syracuse.com/news/poststandar...4165292560.xml


    city boy, 4, dies of burn injuries
    his brother, 7, will be charged with manslaughter as a juvenile delinquent.

    june 26, 2002

    by mike mcandrew and jim o'hara staff writers


    a 4-year-old syracuse boy set on fire by his 7-year-old brother died early tuesday in a boston hospital, police said. authorities are planning to charge the older sibling with manslaughter as a juvenile delinquent.


    nyquest tearney of 103 boise drive, who suffered second- and third-degree burns over about 90 percent of his body saturday night, was pronounced dead at about 4:20 a.m. at boston shriners hospital, said city police sgt. tom connellan.

    tearney was sleeping when his brother doused him with charcoal lighter fluid and lighted a match at 10:40 p.m. saturday at the home of a relative, 338 seymour st., said onondaga county attorney anthony rivizzigno.

    the 7-year-old told authorities the first match he lighted went out so he lighted a second one and ignited his brother's pants. the youth told police he was mad at his mother's boyfriend for making him go to bed.

    rivizzigno said his office will file a petition in family court today charging the 7-year-old with first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment. as soon as tearney's death certificate is received, the office will add a charge of second-degree manslaughter, he said.

    authorities have declined to identify the 7-year-old. the boys are the children of tanya tearney, 30.

    deputy county attorney melissa cielock, a family court lawyer, said she could not recall if she has prosecuted any 7-year-olds in the three years that she has been in the county attorney's office.

    "i've had some very young children," she said. "those are the hardest. about 10 percent of my caseload is children under 10."

    the case will be pursued as a juvenile delinquency proceeding in family court because of the boy's age, but rivizzigno said officials cannot rule out the possibility of a juvenile insanity proceeding and the case being handed over to state mental hygiene officials.

    police charged the boy sunday with second-degree assault, a felony if committed by an adult, after interviewing him at the police station.

    according to police:

    tearney was burned while he, his brother and his 10-year-old sister were at the home of a relative, stacy moore, 44, of 338 seymour st. tearney's mother went to a party saturday night, leaving the children at about 8:30 p.m. with her boyfriend, lewis swift, 22, and a 16-year-old cousin.

    swift later sent the boys to bed.

    the charcoal lighter fluid was stored in a kitchen cupboard.


    sunday, moore told the post-standard that she was sleeping in a bedroom next to the boys'. when she awoke, tearney was on fire in her bed, she said. she declined to comment further.

    moore suffered second-degree burns to her hand while smothering the flames on tearney, police said.

    tearney's mother and moore, who both drove to boston to be with tearney, were driving back to syracuse tuesday.

    octavia jones, who is tanya tearney's aunt, said tuesday the family would not comment until tanya returned.

    connellan said it is rare for a child of any age to be involved in a crime like this.

    "we've arrested 7-year-olds before," he said. "but it's very rare."

    under state law, children under 7 cannot be charged with a crime, connellan said.

    rivizzigno also said his office is looking into whether the 7-year-old faces the possibility of detention in a secure juvenile facility if he is competent to be prosecuted as a juvenile delinquent. cielock said she does not believe secured detention is ruled out, but family court judge bryan hedges said he did not believe detention in a secure juvenile facility is an option, given the boy's age.

    hedges said he believed state law did not allow for secure detention of a child under the age of 9. that's also a problem authorities are facing in trying to decide what to do with the 7-year-old while the family court case is pending.

    as a 7-year-old, the boy cannot be placed in the secure hillbrook detention facility while the case is pending, according to rivizzigno and hedges.

    if officials decide to remove him from his home, a foster home would be an option but no foster parent is likely to want to take in a child with a potential for setting fires, rivizzigno said.

    rivizzigno said the filing of the petition in family court today could get the child and his mother into court within the next several days for an initial appearance before a judge on the delinquency charges.

    he also said the preliminary investigation has turned up no evidence of abuse or neglect in the care of the children, but that investigation is continuing.



    2002 the post-standard. used with permission.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   jccarolina
    OMG, what is the world comming to!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. by   LasVegasRN
    I can't even speak on this. My Lord in heaven, help us.
  5. by   formernurse
    That is one of the most horrible things I've heard lately. It IS hard to believe what this world is coming too. I really hate to watch the news these days.
  6. by   semstr
    SICK
  7. by   Sleepyeyes
    Yep, "Last Days," all right...
  8. by   sunnygirl272
    More From The Post-Standard

    Top News

    Mom wants burn suspect home
    7-year-old accused in death of brother is at Hutchings

    June 27, 2002

    By Mike McAndrew and Jim O'Hara

    The mother of the 7-year-old Syracuse boy accused of killing his 4-year-old brother said Wednesday she doesn't want him prosecuted and raised in a detention center or foster home, according to relatives.

    ''She wants him home,'' said Greg Tearney, the uncle of Tanya Tearney. ''She knows he didn't mean to do this. This is not something he intended to have happen. He loved his brother and his brother loved him.''


    Tanya Tearney broke the news to her 7-year-old son Wednesday at Hutchings Psychiatric Center that his brother, Nyquest Tearney, had died Tuesday morning.

    The 7-year-old doused Nyquest with charcoal lighter fluid Saturday night while Nyquest was sleeping and lighted it with a match, according to police. Nyquest suffered second- and third-degree burns over about 90 percent of his body.

    ''Tanya still loves him,'' Greg Tearney said of the 7-year-old. ''She wants to get him home.''

    It appears that won't happen for at least a month.

    Wednesday, at the request of Deputy Onondaga County Attorney Melissa Cielock, visiting Family Court Judge Frank S. Cook ordered the 7-year-old held at Hutchings for 30 days for a mental evaluation. Authorities are not releasing the boy's name because of his age.

    Cielock told the judge the boy's mother had him placed in Hutchings, but there was nothing to guarantee he would be kept there. Cielock told Cook she thought the psychiatric facility was ''the best and safest place'' for the boy.

    The death of Nyquest has captured the attention of the national media. Employees of CNN's ''Connie Chung Tonight'' asked Tanya Tearney and Greg Tearney to appear Wednesday on the 8 p.m. news show, Greg Tearney said. However, the family didn't appear on the show. CNN's Headline News broadcast details of the case throughout the day.

    Meanwhile, Nyquest's family has been struggling to grasp what prompted the older brother to start the fire.

    ''We don't have the answers,'' said Greg Tearney, who owns a martial arts school. ''We don't know why he did what he did.''

    But he said the family believes the boy did not know the ramifications of his actions.

    ''How many times have 7-year-old kids played with matches and done something stupid, but for the grace of God survived?'' he asked.

    Wednesday, the county initiated the Family Court proceeding by filing a juvenile delinquency petition charging the boy with first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment.

    The county plans to file a manslaughter charge as soon as the Nyquest's death certificate is received, Cielock said. Nyquest died at Boston Shriners Hospital.

    Cook ordered the boy temporarily placed in the custody of the Onondaga County Department of Social Services. Cook scheduled the case to be back in court Tuesday.

    Greg Tearney said the family is upset about the charges.

    ''They're acting like he's some little demon. This is not what we're dealing with here. This kid is not a murderer. He's not someone who can commit manslaughter,'' he said.

    Chris Jones, who is the boys' cousin, said no relatives ever thought the 7-year-old needed psychiatric counseling before the incident.

    ''The brothers got along good,'' said Jones, a youth development specialist with Contact Community Services. ''They had typical sibling rivalry. That's the case with any brothers.''

    ''He was the big brother who protected his younger brother if other boys were playing too rough,'' Greg Tearney said.

    The family wants the 7-year-old to receive counseling.

    ''As far as punishment is concerned, how many pounds of flesh can you take? When he finds out his brother is dead, is there a punishment that the court can give that is worse than what he will suffer for the rest of his life?'' Greg Tearney said.

    ''Tanya wants to bury her baby. Get help for her other child, if necessary. And get him home so she can raise him,'' he said. ''We don't need him in a foster home. There's enough family here.''

    The boys and their 10-year-old sister lived with their mother at the home of Tanya Tearney's aunts at 103 Boise Drive.

    Tanya, 30, is a 1991 Henninger High School graduate who competed as a sprinter and long jumper in the New York State Track and Field Championships.

    She relied on her large extended family to baby-sit the children when she worked as a cashier.

    ''Nyquest was just a great kid. He'd walk in room and smile. His smile was just addicting,'' Greg Tearney said.

    ''He was the life of a party,'' Jones added.

    Saturday night, Tanya Tearney left her children with her boyfriend, Lewis Swift, 22, and her aunt, Stacy Moore, at Moore's home, 338 Seymour St.

    ''Tanya doesn't go out partying. She stays out with her kids. But her nephew was getting married. They were having a bachelorette party. She went out. It's the first time she's been out in a while,'' Greg Tearney said.

    ''From Seymour Street to Skaneateles, I guarantee you people leave their kids with 13- and 14-year-old kids baby-sitting, and it's no big deal,'' he said. ''Here we had three adults in the house.''

    But after Swift sent the boys to bed, the 7-year-old used lighter fluid that was stored in the kitchen to set his brother's pants on fire, according to police.

    In an ambulance, on the way to the hospital, Nyquest was screaming to his mother, ''Mommy, I'm scared,'' said Greg Tearney. His mother was trying to comfort him and tell him everything would be OK. The last words Nyquest spoke before paramedics sedated him were, ''Mommy, I love you,'' Tearney said.


    ''How many times have 7-year-old kids played with matches and done something stupid, but for the grace of God survived?'' he asked.
    ''She wants him home,'' said Greg Tearney, the uncle of Tanya Tearney. ''She knows he didn't mean to do this. This is not something he intended to have happen. He loved his brother and his brother loved him.''
    ''They're acting like he's some little demon. This is not what we're dealing with here. This kid is not a murderer. He's not someone who can commit manslaughter,'' he said.
    c'mon on...he went & got lighter fluid from the ktchen...dumped it on his sleeping brother, whom he loved soooooo uch...and the ignited him........but he just "did something stupid"..."didn't intend for this to happen"...and is not a demon"?!?!?!?
    am i over-reacting????
  9. by   Sleepyeyes
    I know this stuff happens, but frankly, because of his age, I'm really having a hard time believing he actually did this. I mean, this took planning (he had to get it off the kitchen shelf) and knowledge (how did he connect lighter fluid, lighter, & clothing? also, he had to find the lighter and light it) and awareness that it would cause burns.
    And why pick his brother to do this to?

    Or am I in denial?
  10. by   delirium
    I'm with Sleepyeyes. This just doesn't seem possible to me. Maybe because I don't want it to seem possible, because it is so disgusting. Children are so vulnerable anyway, don't you think that he could be taking the blame for an adult who executed this horrible tragedy?
    Maybe some extreme case of Munchausen by proxy that caused the mother to seek attention for herself through the destruction of her son? And then, to save herself, she guilts her son into taking the blame because he's just a kid and he won't be punished as severely? I'm grasping at straws here.
    I can't believe that a 7 year old kid would do this. That's what, second grade?
    Goddess help us.
  11. by   Lisa2902
    Such a very sad situation. I personally don't think that the 7-year-year old could have possibly understood the consequences of his actions. Listen to what the family was saying about him ... they knew him best!
  12. by   Dez
    Ok Ive heard some really horrible things on the news but this is the one of worst. I truly feel sick reading all this. I cant imagine why this little boy did this to his brother. I usually have an opinion about murder cases. but this one.......I dont know what to say. I have two 4 year olds and I picture this happening to them and it makes me sick. But were ther no signs that something was wrong with this boy?
  13. by   Sleepyeyes
    Originally posted by MsPurp
    I'm with Sleepyeyes. This just doesn't seem possible to me. Maybe because I don't want it to seem possible, because it is so disgusting. Children are so vulnerable anyway, don't you think that he could be taking the blame for an adult who executed this horrible tragedy?
    Maybe some extreme case of Munchausen by proxy that caused the mother to seek attention for herself through the destruction of her son? And then, to save herself, she guilts her son into taking the blame because he's just a kid and he won't be punished as severely? I'm grasping at straws here.
    I can't believe that a 7 year old kid would do this. That's what, second grade?
    Goddess help us.
    Actually, I was thinking it was the BF.
  14. by   delirium
    Sleepy:
    I hadn't really given it enough thought to theorize about it either way, it just sort of glared at me that it can't be the way it was presented. But things are rarely presented in the media in an honest way, as we all know.
    It both sickens and saddens me. The whole situation is just horrific.

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