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Cops: Pa. boy, 10, says he didn't mean to kill woman, 90

HONESDALE, Pa. - Authorities say a 10-year-old boy charged with fatally beating a 90-year-old woman told a Pennsylvania state trooper he was "only trying to hurt her."

But an arrest affidavit says the boy also said, "I killed that lady."

During a bail hearing Wednesday, the boy's attorney, Bernard Brown, withdrew a request that he be released from prison.

Brown said that the boy's family did not feel comfortable having him released into their care right now.

The boy, who is charged as an adult with criminal homicide, appeared via a video hookup for the hearing. He buried his hands in his face at times but did not speak.

Brown says the boy is alone in a cell and away from the general inmate population. He says the prison has provided him with coloring books and recreational opportunities.

The beating occurred Saturday at the northeastern Pennsylvania home of the boy's grandfather, who had been caring for the victim - Helen Novak.

According to the boy's mother, her son said he lost his temper when he went into Novak's room to ask her a question and she yelled at him. Police said he admitted punching her in the throat and stomach.

Brown says he'll seek to have the case moved to juvenile court. In Pennsylvania, the crime of criminal homicide is excluded from juvenile law, requiring that he be initially charged as an adult.

Brown also says he plans to file a request for a competency hearing, saying evidence gathered by prosecutors suggests the boy may have mental health issues. Brown said those issues could indicate he is not competent to stand trial and also may support the transfer of the case to juvenile court.

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