PALMER PARK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland boy charged in the July beating death of a 2-year-old foster child living with his family has entered a plea in the case.

The 12-year-old, who was charged as a juvenile, entered a so-called Alford plea to involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday. An Alford plea does not admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a jury or judge to reach a guilty verdict.

The boy’s attorney, Raouf Abdullah, says his client denies hitting the child, but the boy and his family felt the risk of going to trial on a second-degree murder charge with such inflammatory evidence was too great.

An autopsy confirmed the child, Aniyah Batchelor, died of blunt force trauma.

The boy, whose name is not being released, will return to court Oct. 23.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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