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Mother, Boyfriend Accused Of Beating 4-Year-Old To Death For Spilling Breakfast Cereal

WILLOW GROVE, Pa. (CBS) -- A mother and her boyfriend are accused of beating her son to death because he spilled his breakfast cereal.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office says Abington Township Police responded to a report of a respiratory emergency shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday.

When paramedics arrived, they found 4-year-old Tahjir Smith limp and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at Abington Memorial Hospital.

Investigators say that Tahjir was beaten by his mother, 19-year-old Lisa Smith, and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Keiff King, at their home in the 1800 block of Lukens Avenue in Willow Grove because he spilled his breakfast cereal.

Keiff King Lisa Smith
Keiff King, left, and Lisa Smith, right, have been charged in the beating death of a 4-year-old boy. (credit: Montgomery County District Attorney's Office)

Authorities say the suspects beat Tahjir with a shoe.

An autopsy also revealed old rib fractures.

"This senseless death of a 4-year-old boy at the hands of the very adults who are supposed to care for him and keep him safe is a horrible tragedy," said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. "This is the face of domestic violence-a preschooler was beaten until he stopped breathing because he spilled his cereal. We have charged the mother and her boyfriend and will be the voice for justice for Tahjir."

Smith and King have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, criminal attempted murder, endangering the welfare of a child and other related charges.

They have been remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility after failing to post $500,000 bail each.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.

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