A Minneapolis teen stomped his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter to death to keep her from crying.
Cody Feran-Baum, 17, admitted to investigators he kicked little Sophia
O’Neill in the back, laid her on the floor and stomped on her back,
“It was, it was bad,” Feran-Baum said when asked how hard he’d kicked the tot. “It was hard.”
The vicious blows split the girl’s left kidney and pancreas in two,
ripped her liver loose from a ligament, fractured eight ribs and
collapsed a lung.
Feran-Baum, who is not Sophia’s father, was babysitting on June 9 while the mother left the house.
The little girl started to scream and cry for her mom, and Feran-Baum
claimed he couldn’t get her to stop. He tried a time out, food and
putting the girl down for a nap.
“And then, I don’t know, I kinda snapped on her,” he said, according to
the criminal complaint. “And I put her in a corner and I, I, I don’t
know. I just kicked her in the back.”
He replayed the sickening sequence for investigators, using a doll to
show how he booted the sobbing child and then slammed his foot down on
The girl somehow survived the night. Feran-Baum told the girl’s
20-year-old mom, identified as S.S. in court papers, the toddler wasn’t
The mom gave her Motrin pain relievers and tried to cool a fever by putting her in a bath.
It wasn’t until 12:30 p.m. the next day that the girl nodded out and
Feran-Baum went for help. The teen asked to borrow a neighbor’s phone to
call his grandfather, returning 10 minutes later with the limp child in
The neighbor began CPR and insisted on calling 911, despite Feran-Baum’s
repeated requests to just drive them to the hospital, authorities said.
Hospital staff rushed Sophia into a stabilization room and worked on her
for nine hours. The girl flatlined twice and was resuscitated twice
before she finally died.
Feran-Baum and Sophia’s mother lived with his grandparents.
His grandmother, Barbara Whetstone, said she didn’t think Feran-Baum would hurt the child.
“I can’t believe it,” “I can’t believe it.”
But the grandfather told investigators the teen had never been around
children and couldn’t understand why a child would cry. The grandfather
had advised the boy to be patient.
Prosecutors filed second-degree murder charges against Feran-Baum on Monday.
“This was a brutal beating that is almost beyond comprehension,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement.
He vowed to seek the stiffest penalty possible if he’s convicted.
Feran-Baum’s family attended his first appearance on Monday in juvenile court.
“Love you, Cody,” they cried. “Love you, buddy.”
A hearing is set for July 9 to determine whether the teen will be tried as an adult.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune