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Teenage Brother Who Killed His Toddler Siblings Sentenced To 100 Years In Prison

Nickalas Kedrowitz was 13-years-old when he murdered his toddler siblings, claiming he wanted to free them from hell. 

By Jax Miller

An Indiana teenager who was tried as an adult for killing his siblings on has been sentenced.

Nickalas Kedrowitz was charged with smothering his half-sister, 2-year-old Desiree McCartney and his stepbrother, 11-month-old Nathaniel Ritz, in 2017  according to Cincinnati’s Local 12 News. The defendant, who was 13 at the time of the murders was sentenced to a 100- year prison sentence on Tuesday.

Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel agreed to the judge’s ruling.

“This wasn’t some sort of heat of passion, one killing and then minutes or hours or even days later,” said Hertel, according to NBC affiliate WTHR. “We’re talking months here, so we think that the consecutive part of the sentence was warranted and appropriate in this circumstance.”

Nickalas Kedrowitz Ripley County Jail

On May 1, 2017, first responders were called to the family’s Osgood, Indiana home when Christina McCartney — the biological mother of Kedrowitz and Desiree McCartney — found her daughter unresponsive, Local 12 reported. The toddler died in the hospital days later.

A coroner determined through a postmortem examination that she died by suffocation due to smothering, according to Indianapolis’s Fox 59.

It was not clear whether or not her manner of death was ruled a homicide at that time, but Kedrowitz, who was not formally accused of any wrongdoing, was temporarily removed from the home for unspecified reasons, according to Local 12. On July 20, 2017, more than two months after Desiree’s death, Christina called authorities once again when her stepson, Nathaniel, was found unresponsive.

Nathaniel died shortly after midnight on July 21, 2017. Like Desiree, he died of suffocation due to smothering, according to Local 12.

Investigators later concluded that Kedrowitz suffocated Desiree by wrapping a towel around her head and suffocated Nathanial with a blanket.

Am arrest affidavit states that Kedrowitz drew suspicion in September of that year while visiting Christina’s uncle and aunt, Bob and Candice Barker. At the Barker home, Kedrowitz reportedly took their kitten to the basement and tortured it. Candace Barker noted that the pet suffered a puncture-like wound to the head and had deep, open wounds to the body.

Candice Barker described Kedrowitz as “having issues with his temper,” adding the teen was “self-centered,” according to the affidavit.

Authorities arrested Kedrowitz in August 2018, but his mother was quick to come to his defense, according to Fox 19.

“He’s not the monster that people are trying to portray him as,” said Christina McCartney. “It’s a mother’s worst nightmare to have such a precious family and then to wake up to the worst possible outcomes.”

McCartney described her son as “every mom’s dream child,” a boy who doted on his siblings.

Conversely, Prosecutor Hertel stated Kedrowitz had confessed to the murders.

“There were several remarks that were made to police about freeing the siblings from some sort of hell,” said Hertel.

McCartney argued that her son’s confession was a reference to his stepdad, who lived with the children in the home.

“He [Kedrowitz] witnessed him being mean to the babies,” said McCartney, adding that the stepfather would purposely push the children down and lock them in the bedroom. “As a mom, that’s hard to swallow that was going on, and I didn’t know.”

McCartney claimed her son acted while under the threat of his stepfather.

Kedrowitz’s defense tried in vain to show his client had untreated mental illness, but Kedrowitz was found competent to stand trial, allowing him to be charged as an adult. In August, after six hours of deliberation, a Ripley County jury found him guilty for the murders of Desiree McCartney and Nathaniel Ritz.

Kedrowitz was sentenced to 50 years for each of his victims, to be served consecutively.