US boy, 5, fatally stabs twin brother in home tragedy
A 5-year-old boy will not face any charges after he stabbed and killed his twin brother in a fight in their home in Santa Cruz, California, said local authorities.
The two were fighting on Nov 15 in the city of Scotts Valley, when one of them picked up a kitchen knife and stabbed the other, said the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim was taken to hospital, where he died despite efforts to save his life.
After investigations, the sheriff’s office said on Nov 17 that no charges will be filed against anyone involved, citing the perpetrator’s age, criminal intent and knowledge of wrongfulness as factors that influenced the decision to not charge the child under Californian state laws.
Investigations also revealed no indication of negligence or criminal activity, the sheriff’s office added, describing the incident as “tragic”.
Dr Thomas Plante, who teaches psychology at Santa Clara University, said it was difficult to apportion blame in this tragedy.
“They are five but they probably, likely just developmentally, don’t have the notion of what is the true implications of their actions. So this is one of those things where I think they’re probably going to struggle with for the rest of their lives, and you hope they get adequate psychological help,” he told ABC7 News.
“I think emphasising kindness, graciousness, being non-judgmental, is probably the way to go and not do more damage than what’s already been done.”
The sheriff’s office said this is the kind of tragedy that stays with officers or other first responders their entire careers, and have set up a peer support team for its employees involved.