Teen said he fatally beat 5-year-old neighbor with a bowling ball

Posted Friday, Jun. 28, 2013  Print Reprints
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A 13-year-old Fort Worth boy confessed to killing his 5-year-old neighbor by hitting him twice in the head with a bowling ball, according to allegations detailed in a detention hearing Friday.

The teen made the statement about the death of Sida Osman after people found him crying, according to a summary of the case against the teen read by a county employee during the hearing.

Associate Judge Kim Brown ordered that the teen remain in custody and said she will appoint him an attorney today.

The suspect, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, wore handcuffs shackled to a belt around his waist during the morning hearing. Dressed in a tan jumpsuit issued to juvenile defendants, the teen showed little emotion as he stood before the judge.

In a statement, police have said the teen and Sida went into the fenced back yard of a vacant house in the 4800 block of Lois Street, where the teen became irritated with Sida “and hit him multiple times in the head, causing his death.”

Sida’s body was found Wednesday, about 18 hours after he was last seen riding his bicycle.

The hearing was conducted in hushed tones at the bench, most of it inaudible to those sitting in the gallery.

The teen’s mother stood next to her son but was asked no questions. She declined to comment after the hearing.

Relatives of the slain 5-year-old did not attend; they were preparing for Sida’s funeral.

Members of the Somali community gathered at the Webber Gardens Apartments on Friday morning to offer condolences. They came from Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas to offer help as the family prepared to bury the little boy.

The greater Somali community in North Texas includes people of the Bantu background and others, they said. Somali visitors at the complex said they were there to offer help as Somali people.

The Bantu people come from the deep south of Somalia and have a farming background, they explained.

Ahmed Omar, who helps his fellow Somali Bantu through the African Community Services group, said Sida’s body was being prepared for a traditional Muslim funeral. He will be buried in Joshua.

The Bantu community will remember the boy’s charming ways, Omar said.

“He was funny, laughing all the time,” Omar said. “He was a good boy.”

Members of the community prepared traditional food while elders met under a nearby tree to discuss the tragedy and the steps they must take for protection.

Omar said several are talking about moving to Arlington.

For many, he said, the death has driven home that, while they were prepared for dangers in Africa, they weren’t ready for those that lurk in America.

The news of Sida’s death affected others in southeast Fort Worth.

Myra Denton said she was touched by the tragedy and decided to offer her condolences to Sida’s mother.

“I was just devastated,” she said. “My heart went out to the family. They were trying to find a safe place when they came to the United States.”

The suspect had been in and out of juvenile detention and was on probation at the time of the killing, according to Rick Stokes, a family friend.

The teen was arrested Thursday on a capital murder warrant. Slayings of children under 6 constitute capital murder in Texas.

Because the suspect is under 14, he is not eligible to be certified as an adult.

Riley Shaw, chief prosecutor of the Tarrant County district attorney’s juvenile division, said Friday that police have not presented their case to prosecutors and that no formal charges have been filed against the teen.

“This is a very serious offense,” Shaw said. “We’re going to look at it very carefully. I anticipate we’ll make a decision next week.”

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655 Twitter: @deannaboyd Diane Smith, 817-390-7675 Twitter: @dianeasmith1