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11-Year-Old Boy Convicted of Murdering 8-year-Old Girl Is Sentenced to Eight Years in Juvenile Prison


"The mother of the child knelt on the ground and picked her child up, placing her child in her arms as she passed away."


An 11-year-old boy has been sentenced to eight years in juvenile prison in Jefferson County, Tennessee, for the October murder of an 8-year-old girl, according to a court document that was posted online Thursday.

Benny Nicolas Tiller, 11, ultimately was found guilty of first-degree murder in the Oct. 3 death of MaKayla Dyer, 8. After MaKayla refused to let him play with her puppy outside, Benny reportedly grabbed his father's 12-gauge shotgun and shot her in the chest just above her heart from his bedroom window, according to CNN. MaKayla was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital, and Benny is expected to remain in juvenile prison until his 19th birthday.

The court documents stated that Benny was "guilty, beyond reasonable doubt, of the unlawful, intentional, and premeditated murder of Mckayla [sic] Dyer," CNN reported.

Although both of Benny's parents were home at the time of the shooting, neither one came out of the house to investigate the gunshot until the Jefferson County Sheriff's officers arrived on the scene, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Benny's five siblings currently are being held in state custody and have been placed with some relatives.

MaKayla had turned 8-years-old just three weeks before her death. She had been playing with her 11-year-old sister and another 11-year-old friend when Benny asked the girls if they could bring out their puppies. When the girls refused, Benny allegedly returned with the shotgun and a bb gun as the girls scoffed, believing the guns to be fake.

“The victim then laughed at Mr. Tiller, and stated that she believed they were not real,” read the court documents. “Tiller then made certain the gun was loaded, cocked the hammer of the gun, and shot the victim just above the heart” from inside the window, according to WATE-TV.

“The mother of the child knelt on the ground and picked her child up, placing her child in her arms as she passed away,” wrote Judge Roach in the order, WATE reported.

MaKayla's mother, Latasha Dyer, told WATE that when the family first moved to the area, "the little boy was bullying MaKayla and I had to go to the principal about him, and he quit, for a while. Then all of the sudden ... he shot her."

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter

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