What to Know
The boy's 19-year-old mother, Lisa Smith, and her 26-year-old boyfriend, Keiff King, both of Abington, allegedly beat Tahjir Smith to death
An autopsy concluded the little boy died of "multiple blunt injuries, thermal injuries and shock"
The district attorney's office announced an upgraded charge of murder against the couple Friday based on those autopsy results
A suburban Philadelphia couple has been charged with murder in the death of a 4-year-old who was beaten for spilling his breakfast cereal.
The boy's 19-year-old mother, Lisa Smith, and her 26-year-old boyfriend, Keiff King, both of Abington, allegedly beat Tahjir Smith to death Jan. 22, investigators said. The upgraded charge was announced Friday following the completion of an autopsy that concluded the little boy died of "multiple blunt injuries, thermal injuries and shock," the district attorney's office said.
"This was a violent sustained beating," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement. "The news of this boy's death has saddened and outraged many people. Two of our best prosecutors ... will prosecute the case and will strive for justice for the senseless killing of young Tahjir."
Lisa Smith's attorney, Carrie Allman, declined to comment on the case.
King's attorney, Jeremy Alva, told NBC Philadelphia, "It's a stretch for the prosecutors to believe Mr. King had any intention of killing the young child."
Investigators initially concluded after the boy was found unresponsive in January that he was allegedly beaten earlier in the day by both suspects at their home on Lukens Avenue in Willow Grove, prosecutors said. The boy was allegedly struck in the head and upper body repeatedly.
Lisa Smith and King are being held without bail at Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 18.