Oregon teen arrested for death of 5-month-old

PENDLETON, Ore. (KOIN) — A 16-year-old boy was arrested and charged with the murder of a 5-month-old, law enforcement officials tell KOIN 6 News.

Evan Freel is accused of “unlawfully and recklessly” causing the death of Dominic Freel “by neglect and/or maltreatment.” The infant was killed around June 8, court documents show. Specific details of the alleged murder have not been released.

An anonymous source tells the Blue Mountain Tribune Freel was home playing video games when he became agitated with Dominic who reportedly wouldn’t stop crying.

That’s when he allegedly grabbed the infant and strangling him, the source claims.

Freel is being held on charges of murder and first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Dominic’s mother posted the following statement online:

“On Wednesday June 8th 2016 our family was changed forever. In the most devastating and horrific events, we were robbed of our sweet Dominic. At only 5 months of age he was taken from us FAR too soon. He lit up our lives as we rang in the New Year and was truly our little firecracker. Dominic had angelic beauty, he was inquisitive and bright drinking in every detail he could as he began his journey to unravel life’s mysteries. There are no words that can even begin to tell of our devastating loss. We can’t call it grief because this is a pain that runs far deeper than that. Prayers for strength and understanding in this time of immeasurable despair are much needed and greatly appreciated. The road laid in front of us is long and winding.”

Although Freel is in custody, under a Ballot Measure 11 charge, his booking photo was not immediately released. Under Oregon law, the booking photo of a juvenile charged under Ballot Measure 11 can be released to members of the media.

Jeff Justesen, manager of the juvenile detention center at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities, said media requests must be made through the DA’s Office.

Freel is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning on a grand jury indictment. He will appear in court via video from the NORCOR Juvenile Detention Facility.

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