Officials: A kick ‘so hard’ to boy’s head likely killed him

MARYSVILLE — A Marysville teen was kicked in the head after he tripped over a log during an Aug. 19 fight, a blow that investigators believe ultimately took the young man’s life.

The 15-year-old boy who allegedly admitted injuring Robert L. Myrick Jr. told police he delivered the kick with such force that he thought “Robert was ‘dead,’” according to court papers filed last week.

The boy reportedly described how Myrick, 16, slipped into unconsciousness and began having tremors after the kick. Other young people watching the fight ran to a nearby store to get water. They poured it on Myrick, trying to get him to awaken, without success, said a police report filed with the juvenile division of Snohomish County Superior Court.

Myrick had been unconscious for more than an hour when someone finally called 911. He never awoke after the fight in an area known to locals as Spook Woods. He died nine days later at an Everett hospital.

An obituary for Myrick said he was preparing to enter his junior year at Marysville Getchell High School and was excited about trying out for basketball and enrolling in drivers education. An autopsy determined he succumbed to a brain injury. Doctors concluded that the trauma was greater than he could have received from a fall. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office has classified the death a homicide.

The 15-year-old who reportedly kicked Myrick was arrested late last week for investigation of second-degree manslaughter. Marysville police believe there is probable cause to believe the death was the result of a criminally negligent act.

“A reasonable person should know kicking someone in the head could lead to serious injury or death,” detectives wrote. The suspect “admitted he kicked Robert so hard he thought Robert was dead.”

The boys had agreed to fight in the woods south of Pinewood Elementary School. Investigators were told they were angry at each other over a girl. Both landed punches.

The 15-year-old was still at the fight scene when authorities arrived, but he didn’t volunteer his involvement and they initially thought he was a witness, the police report said.

He later spoke with police, accompanied by his father and grandmother. He reportedly detailed the reasons for the fight and how the encounter progressed.

At one point, Myrick landed a punch that hit the 15-year-old’s nose. The boy said that made him mad and he began “moving aggressively towards Robert causing Robert to retreat,” the police report said. Myrick was backing away, trying to dodge the blows when he tripped over the log, detectives were told.

The 15-year-old reportedly said Myrick was attempting to rise. He allegedly hopped over the log, punched Myrick in the face and then kicked him in the head.

Witnesses told police they’d yelled at the 15-year-old, telling him to stop.

“They said it was an unwritten rule that when someone goes down, they are allowed to get back up before the fight would resume or be over,” detectives wrote.

A judge Wednesday found probable cause for the 15-year-old’s arrest. He agreed to release the boy from the Denney Juvenile Justice Center and placed him on house arrest.

No charges have been filed. The case remains under investigation.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.

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