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Lorain police arrest 13-year-old in connection with toddler's death

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Posted at 7:43 AM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 19:28:30-05

LORAIN, Ohio — A 13-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday evening by Lorain police after a 23-month-old was found unresponsive at a home and later died.

According to Lorain police, officers responded to a home in the 1600 block of East 30th Street Wednesday just before 8 p.m. and found EMS on scene treating a toddler who was unresponsive. The child was taken to Mercy Hospital for treatment but later died.

The toddler has been identified as Jessie Webber, of Lorain, according to his mother.

"He had blood coming out of his nose and his mouth and his eyes were open and he wasn't conscious," said Webber's mother Heather Banbury.

Banbury said she left her son with the 13-year-old for just a few minutes while she ran to the teen's house just a few doors away to pick up some food.

She said returned home and found the lights turned off. Her son was sleeping according to the teen.

"I felt something was wrong and when I cut the light on I saw him and he ran after I asked him 'Why? What did you do?" said Banbury. "And he said he was play fighting."

Lorain police said they don't believe Jessie's death was an accident.

Detective Chris Colon said the teen physically assaulted the toddler.

"They were play fighting and Jessie threw a dinosaur," said Banbury. "And he just repeatedly hit Jessie."

But Banbury believes there's more to the story and believes only the teen knows the complete truth of what happened.

"He had to stomp on him," she said. "His shoe print was on his chest and part of his stomach."

She said the teen was like part of her own family and said she never saw him act aggressively toward her children.

"I'm not mad, I just want to know why," said Banbury. "Why you chose him. Why you couldn't come to talk to me."

The Lorain County Coroner's Office said Friday it could take weeks before they know what killed Jessie.

For now, Banbury said she's focused on justice for Jessie.

"My baby was beaten to death," said Banbury. "I want justice."

Because of the teen's age, we've chosen not to name him.

Lorain police said he'll remain in juvenile detention until he's formally charged with murder.

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