By Karen Brooks
(Reuters) - A 13-year-old New Orleans boy has been arrested on charges he murdered his 5-year-old sister with body slams, elbow punches and other moves he told investigators he had seen while watching professional wrestling on television, police said on Wednesday.
Viloude Louis died Sunday from blunt-force trauma that left her with broken ribs and liver damage after a violent encounter with the boy, her half-brother, who was arrested the following day, police said.
Whether the death stemmed from an episode of play-wrestling that went too far or a deliberate beating motivated by anger remained under investigation, but no parents were home at the time, police said.
The boy, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, was charged with second-degree murder, which in Louisiana includes the killing of a person with the intent to inflict great bodily harm.
In Louisiana, juveniles convicted of second-degree murder must serve at least 35 years in prison before they are eligible for parole.
In his statement to police, the boy said he body-slammed the girl repeatedly on a bed, punched her several times in the stomach, jumped on her, and "struck her with his elbow several times like the wrestlers do on television," Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Colonel John Fortunato said in a statement.
The boy told police "he knows wrestling on television was fake" and "appeared to enjoy talking about the wrestling moves and physical abuse during the interview," the statement said.
After the beating, the girl complained that her stomach hurt and went to the bathroom to brush her teeth, police said. When the boy checked on her half an hour later, she was on the floor complaining of a stomach ache, Fortunato said.
He noticed a short time later that she had stopped breathing, and he called emergency-911, police said.
Officials at the WWE expressed condolences to the family in a statement on Wednesday, but said it was "clearly a lack of parental supervision" that led to the death.
"It is illogical to conclude that the repeated, brutal and ultimately fatal beating of a 5-year-old little girl by a teenager could be confused with imitation of WWE action seen on TV," the statement said.
Fortunato said police had no reason to believe the boy had been violent against his half-sister in the past.
(Reporting By Karen Brooks; Editing by David Gregorio and Cynthia Johnston)