- Michigan prosecutors have dropped an aggravated-assault charge against a 10-year-old boy accused of throwing a ball at another child's face during recess at school in April.
- The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office told INSIDER in a statement on Wednesday that there was a "better way" to handle the incident.
- The case had sparked nationwide backlash over the severity of the criminal charge against such a young child in what appeared to be a schoolyard conflict.
- The 10-year-old's mother used Facebook to decry the charge against her young son, and supporters raised more than $15,000 for his legal defense.
- Visit INSIDER's homepage for more stories.
A 10-year-old boy in Michigan accused of throwing a ball at another child's face during recess in April will no longer face an aggravated-assault charge in juvenile court, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office told INSIDER on Wednesday.
The case had sparked nationwide backlash over the severity of the criminal charge against such a young child in what appeared to be a schoolyard conflict.
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office originally said that the charge was brought after the child "took the ball and intentionally threw it with force" at a 9-year-old's face during a game of "Tips," which uses a ball similar to a dodgeball.
Prosecutors said in a statement on Tuesday that the case had several possible remedies, including dismissing the charge.
They decided to do exactly that on Wednesday, one day before the child was set to appear before a judge.
YouTube/WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7
In her statement to INSIDER on Wednesday, Kym Worthy, the Wayne County prosecutor, chastised the media's "inaccurate reporting" on the child's case. She clarified that the child had never been arrested and that the charge was not based on "race or geography" but was still "certainly sustainable," even though her office was dismissing it.
'There is a better way'
Worthy also said there were facts "that played into our decision" that couldn't be made public for ethical reasons.
"I have no doubt that both families involved love their children and want the best for them," Worthy said. "But I do think that there is a better way to go forward at this time."
She continued: "It is my earnest hope that both sides will come back to the table to work out a solution that benefits both of these children. Again, I am confident that both of them are highly valued. I want to make sure that both children are served as we move forward and hopefully these charges will not have to be revisited."
Local media outlets reported that the 9-year-old's mother had pursued charges against the 10-year-old because her son has a dangerous medical condition that a head injury could worsen and because similar incidents had happened to him at school.
YouTube/WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7
She told the local ABC affiliate WXYZ that her son had "facial tissue damage," a black eye, a bruised nose, and a concussion after the 10-year-old threw the ball.
But the 10-year-old's mother, Cameishi Lindley, used Facebook to decry the charges and raise funds for her son's legal defense. She said that if the 9-year-old's medical condition was so serious, he should not have been allowed to participate in contact sports in the first place.
"I'm just as shocked as those of you reading our story," Lindley wrote.
She said the attorney's fees were $4,000, but supporters raised more than $15,000.
- Read more:
- A 38-year-old YouTube star has died after his paraglider disappeared off the radar and crashed
- 3 people have been bitten by sharks in Florida over 3 days. Experts share tips for minimizing your risk of a shark attack.
- Disney star Cameron Boyce's death was caused by epilepsy, coroner confirms
- Authorities have arrested a woman they call the 'Pink Lady Bandit' in connection with 4 bank robberies across the East Coast in 6 days