Teenager charged in toddler's beating death

Monday, June 15, 2015

Cody Samuel Feran-Baum, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of a two-year-old Minneapolis girl, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Feran-Baum 17, made his first appearance Monday afternoon at the Hennepin County Juvenile Justice Center. During the brief hearing, it was announced there would be a certification trial to determine whether Feran-Baum should be tried as an adult in the beating death of Sophia O’Neill. A pretrial hearing for Feran-Baum was set for July 9  where the studies needed for deciding on whether to certify him as an adult are expected to be filed.

“This was a brutal beating that is almost beyond comprehension,” Freeman said. “The medical records detailed all of the injuries this poor girl suffered and we used that information to bring the charge. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines call for between 128 and 180 months in prison. The investigation continues and if Mr. Feran-Baum should be convicted, we will determine if there are legal factors that would allow us to seek a harsher sentence.”

According to the juvenile petition, officers were dispatched to a residence in the 3800 block of 30th Avenue South shortly after noon Wednesday on a call of child not breathing. Paramedics worked on the child and took her to Hennepin County Medical Center.

The 20-year-old mother arrived before the ambulance left and told officers that she left the child with her boyfriend, Feran-Baum, earlier in the day. She said the three of them had been living with Feran-Baum’s grandparents, even though Feran-Baum is not the girl’s father, the petition states.

A neighbor who was working from home reported to police that Feran-Baum knocked on his door at 12:25 p.m. and asked to use his cell phone. Feran-Baum took it back to his house and returned about 10 minutes later carrying the child.  The neighbor called 911 and began performing CPR on the child, according to the petition.

O’Neill died almost nine hours later and the doctors said she had multiple bruises, including extensive bruising to back and abdomen. Specifically, the doctors who tried to save O’Neill found that she had a split kidney, split pancreas, liver damage, rib fractures, both new and healing, a collapsed lung and other cuts and bruises, according to the petition.

In an interview with police, Feran-Baum admitted that when she wouldn’t stop crying, he kicked the child twice in the back and then laid her on the floor and stomped on her back, the petition states.

Criminal Juvenile Petition (PDF)