Skip to main content

Teen kicked, stomped on 2-year-old Minneapolis girl before she died, charges say

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A 17-year-old is charged with second-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl in Minneapolis last week, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Monday.

The juvenile was taken into custody last Wednesday after officers responded to a call of a baby, Sophia O'Neill, not breathing. The toddler was in the care of the teenager, police said.

The juvenile arrested is reportedly the boyfriend of O'Neill's 20-year-old mother.

The toddler was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in an ambulance, but died later that night, police said.

Her injuries were outlined in the probable cause statement, described below. (Editor's note: Some of the details could be considered disturbing.)

The teenager told police he "snapped on her" when Sophia wouldn't stop crying. He put her in a corner and kicked her in the back. When she still wouldn't stop crying he said he laid her face down on the floor and stomped on her back.

When asked how hard he kicked Sophia, on a scale of one to 10, he said: "It was bad. It was like a seven. It was hard."

Investigators believe this happened Tuesday, the day before Sophia died.

Sophia suffered "significant non-accidental trauma," with the medical examiner determining she died of multiple blunt-fore injuries to her torso region – her left kidney was split in half, her pancreas was split in two, her liver was injured, she had eight broken ribs, a collapsed lung and bruising on her scalp, among other injuries.

During the investigation, the child's biological father, 22-year-old Max O'Neill, showed police video of Sophia with bruises on her face. In the video, Sophia says the suspect "punched" her in the face.

The teenager has been held in jail since being arrested. He made his initial court appearance at the Hennepin County Juvenile Justice Center Monday afternoon. The judge closed the hearing to the media, which is an unusual move, the Star Tribune says.

Anyone who commits a crime when they are between the ages of 10 and 17 is considered a juvenile offender. Most juvenile cases remain in juvenile court, with a few exceptions for especially violent crimes, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office website notes. For more on the juvenile justice system, click here.

Next Up

Police tape

Woman dies after being shot in Minneapolis

The woman in her 20s died at the scene.

318932855_566492482149686_9036958628999185261_n

Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.

318945683_10161683635994714_4236667683357316937_n

22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.

COVER

Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.

PepperSprayCopMPD

Cop who pepper-sprayed downtown protesters received $150K payout

Samantha Belcourt said she "feared for her life."

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.

Related