Jury convicts Indiana teen of murder in smothering deaths of siblings

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OSGOOD, Ind. – A jury found a Ripley County teenager guilty of killing his younger siblings in 2017.

Nickalas Kedrowitz was convicted of two counts of murder. The jury deliberated for six hours Friday night before returning the guilty verdict. Kedrowitz was 13 years old when he was accused of killing the children.

Emergency crews were called to the family’s home in Osgood on May 6, 2017. Twenty-three-month-old Desiree McCartney was found unresponsive. Her death was ruled suffocation by smothering, according to the coroner’s office.

Less than three months later, on July 21, 2017, 11-month-old Nathaniel Ritz was found unresponsive. The coroner’s office also determined he was smothered.

Investigators started looking at Kedrowitz as a suspect in September 2017, after his mother told police he’d mutilated a kitten in the family’s home. A family member said he had a terrible temper reminiscent of the comic book character the Incredible Hulk.

When police interviewed Kedrowitz, he told them he’d set his siblings “free from this hell.” Multiple family members said he admitted to putting blankets over the children’s heads until they “stopped making noise.”

Kedrowitz’s mother contended that her son’s actions were spurred by an abusive stepfather who lived with the family at the time, according to WXIX.

The teen was eventually found competent to stand trial, and the case was waived to adult court in 2019.

Prosecutors said Kedrowitz faces between 45 and 65 years on each count. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 10.

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