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BOY IS CHARGED IN BEATING DEATH OF COLORADO TOT

A small flower cross and stuffed animals adorn a rundown home where a toddler was beaten with a dog chain and left to die beside a cat carcass.

A 10-year-old boy who was helping to baby-sit the girl was charged Thursday in her death. He wore leg irons and handcuffs to juvenile court, where he sat quietly between his father and attorneys.He was ordered held without bond and a preliminary hearing was set for May 30.

Authorities say they are prohibited by law from disclosing the exact charge against the boy. However, the maximum penalty is the same for youngsters under 12, no matter what the offense - two years' probation and foster care or a group home, said Deputy District Attorney Barbara Gorden.

Prosecutors say the boy beat 18-month-old Jazmine Haen with a dog chain Saturday night at his father's home in a working-class neighborhood of this Denver suburb.

Police responding to a 911 call found Jazmine unconscious on a bed next to a dead, decaying cat.

She died at a hospital early Sunday. A coroner said Jazmine had suffered brain hemorrhaging, extensive bruising and a cut near her genitals. Shoe imprints were found on her head and right hand.

Jazmine's 18-year-old mother, Roberta Corder, said she left her daughter with Brad Johnson, 19, a friend of the suspect's family, to go to a party.

Johnson, who was not charged, told police that he was in another room and the 10-year-old boy was taking care of the toddler. Johnson said he called 911 after the found Jazmine had stopped breathing.

The boy's stepmother, however, said he had been talking to friends outside the house and later found Jazmine bleeding on a bed. "He tried to clean her up, that's all," the boy's stepmother said.

"He's scared to death," she said. "The only thing he said to me was that he loved me - and I love him."

Outside the boy's home, along a chain-link fence, a cross and stuffed animals made up a makeshift memorial to Jazmine. A sign read, "Our hearts are with the innocents."