A 12-year-old was arrested after being accused of throwing boiling hot water at one of her friends and causing second-degree burns during a sleepover.
The 11-year-old victim, Jamoneisha Merritt, was sound asleep when the aforementioned accused stepped near her with a pot of boiling water and spilled it over her, supposedly after having engaged in a verbal altercation just hours before.
Merritt experienced burns on multiple parts of her body, mostly her upper torso, and other areas such as her face, shoulders, and lower back.
Merritt’s cousin, Yolanda Richardson, certainly thought that the gruesome incident was the result of an unresolved argument between the girls.
‘Her and her friend got into an argument and she told her if she goes to sleep they were going to do something to her,’ said Richardson, further explaining Merritt’s reaction. ‘She said she was screaming that it was burning, and I could only be with her for a little bit, because I can’t hold myself together. I don’t want her to see me cry.’
Merritt’s mother, Ebony, surmised that the case was a result of the unfortunately popular ‘Hot Water Challenge’ that has been used many times in the recent past as a bullying tactic.
The accused 12-year-old girl, her identity not yet public, was punished with an 18-month probation sentence, though Merritt’s mother and her lawyer, Paul Prestia, derived little satisfaction from the verdict.
‘It doesn’t make sense that all of the girls were not punished because they were involved in some way, and she needs some semblance of justice for those scars.’ said Prestia, further adding ‘Her spirit and courage should really be an inspiration to so many young people — especially those who’ve been the victims of bullying.’
Merritt’s mother also stated her intent to press charges against the mother of the 12-year-old, saying ‘The mother is just as involved as the other kids. This happened at 4 a.m., but they didn’t come to my house until 5:30. That means she was there for an hour and a half while they were trying to cover their tracks.’