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Teenager Gets Century in Prison for Smothering His Toddler Siblings to Death in Two Separate Killings

Nickalas Kedrowitz appears in a Ripley County Sheriff's Office mugshot.

Nickalas Kedrowitz appears in a Ripley County Sheriff’s Office mugshot.

An Indiana teen was sentenced Tuesday to a century in prison for smothering his toddler siblings to death.

The defense maintained that defendant Nickalas Kedrowitz, 17, lived with an untreated mental illness and deserved a favorable sentence, but Judge Ryan King determined that the convicted teenager showed no remorse, according to nearby CBS affiliate WKRC. The judge therefore issued two consecutive 50-year sentences in the killings of Kedrowitz’s half-sister Desiree McCartney, who was 23 months old, and the defendant’s stepbrother Nathaniel Ritz, who was 11 months old.  The killings resulted from attacks on separate days, authorities proved at trial.

Christina McCartney, Desiree’s mother, returned home on May 1, 2017 to find that the young girl “wasn’t breathing right,” according to FOX affiliate WXIX. The child died on May 6 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in nearby Ohio. Kedrowitz, then 13, was not accused of wrongdoing at the time, though he was taken out of the home. Nathaniel died on July 21.

Authorities eventually came to believe that Kedrowitz smothered Desiree with a towel to “set her free to Heaven.” Months later, they accused him of putting a blanket over Nathaniel’s head, according to WKRC.

Kedrowitz reportedly landed on the law enforcement radar after his mother said that he once mutilated a kitten; another relative described him as having a temper like the Incredible Hulk.

Kedrowitz confessed after the Ritz killing, authorities said.

“There were several remarks that were made to police about freeing the siblings from some sort of hell,” Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel said.

That form of “hell” may have been related to another person living in the home, Christina McCartney told WXIX.

The defendant teenager, who was charged as an adult, fought charges.  Prosecutors argued he was the person responsible for the two deaths, and a jury agreed.

In justifying the century-long sentence, Hertel emphasized the length of time between the two murders.

“This wasn’t some sort of heat of passion, one killing and then minutes or hours or even days later,” Hertel said, according to Indianapolis television station WTHR. “We’re talking months here, so we think that the consecutive part of the sentence was warranted and appropriate in this circumstance.”

[Screenshot via WXIX/Trevor Peters/Twitter]

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