The teenage suspect in the June death of a 4-year-old child pleads “not guilty” in La Crosse County Court.
Kamitri Riles entered the plea on Friday, one day after Judge Ramona Gonzalez declared that there is sufficient evidence to try him for causing the death of his young niece.
The 16-year-old is requesting a “reverse waiver” hearing, which would allow him to be tried in juvenile court on the murder charge. Riles turns 17 in September, and at that age he would automatically be tried as an adult. A hearing on the waiver is scheduled for two days, later this month.
Gonzalez ruled that there is probable cause to try Riles, after police and a Mayo pathologist testified at an evidence hearing Thursday.
Riles said he was taking care of younger children one day in June when he struck the 4-year-old girl in the face, knocking her to the floor, where she hit her head.
The child apparently died in her sleep hours later.
Pathologist Andrew Layman, who performed the autopsy, testified by Zoom at the Riles hearing. He said that the girl had multiple injuries, including to her brain and spinal cord, as well as internal bleeding.