New details: Boy, 10, confesses to killing 90-year-old woman
(CNN) — “I killed that lady,” the 10-year-old boy told a Pennsylvania state trooper, after a 90-year-old woman was found dead in the home of the boy’s grandfather.
Tristen Kurilla made the chilling confession Saturday, police said, after his mother brought him to the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks in Honesdale, about 140 miles north of Philadelphia.
Now, Kurilla is being held at the Wayne County Correctional Facility and is being charged as an adult with criminal homicide, the Wayne County district attorney’s office said.
The boy admitted to grabbing a wooden cane, holding it against 90-year-old Helen Novak’s throat for several seconds and punching her in the throat and stomach, according to the police affidavit.
Kurilla told police he was angry at Novak because she had yelled at him when he entered her room.
Were you trying to kill her? the trooper asked the boy.
“No, I was only trying to hurt her,” Kurilla replied, according to the affidavit.
The boy was ordered to be held without bail after his arraignment and is set to appear in court October 22. It’s not clear who his attorney is and whether the lawyer will petition a judge to transfer the case to juvenile court.
Police were initially called to the home of Kurilla’s grandfather, Anthony Virbitsky, in Damascus Township, Pennsylvania, Saturday morning with a report that an elderly woman had died there, the affidavit said. Virbitsky was the woman’s caretaker, authorities said.
The county coroner responded to the home, found Novak’s body and transported it to the morgue, the affidavit stated.
A few hours later, the boy’s mother, Martha Virbitsky, appeared at the state police post with her son and told Trooper John Decker that the boy had confessed to killing Novak, the affidavit said.
The boy’s mother told police that she “has had a lot of trouble with Tristen and that he has some mental difficulties” and had been violent in the past, the affidavit said.
Kurilla had told his grandfather that Novak was bleeding from the mouth, but denied having done anything to her, Decker wrote in the affidavit.
Anthony Virbitsky told police he checked on Novak but found no blood, although she was breathing heavily. He asked her if she wanted to go to a hospital, the affidavit said, but she refused. When he went to check on her less than an hour later, she was dead, Virbitsky told police, and then his grandson confessed that he had hit her.
An autopsy performed Monday discovered “blunt force trauma to Novak’s neck” and her death was ruled a homicide, the district attorney’s statement said.