Prosecutor: Man told toddler to put up his fists before beating boy to death

Posted at 4:34 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 18:35:55-04

CAMDEN, N.J. – A New Jersey man has been charged with murder after he punched a toddler to death during a fight with the child’s mother over groceries, according to prosecutors.

Zachary Tricoche, of Pennsauken, New Jersey, was arraigned on murder charges Tuesday.

Tricoche, 24, allegedly delivered the crushing blow after getting into a fight with his girlfriend about the food she brought back from the grocery store.

His girlfriend’s son, 2-year-old Jamil Baskerville Jr., was sitting on a bed nearby and began crying. Tricoche then punched him so hard the boy flew off the bed and hit his head against the wall, prosecutors said.

When the child stood up, Tricoche ordered him to put his fists up like a boxer before knocking him unconscious, according to

The boy’s mother called 911 and took Jamil to Cooper University Hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

Jamil, who weighed less than 30 pounds, suffered an injury to his liver and had signs of bruising on his chest, doctors said.

“Essentially, JB (Jamil) bled to death internally,” said Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah.

Tricoche, who has multiple drug-related convictions, looked at the floor for much of the arraignment hearing. Multiple guards stood between Tricoche and Jamil’s relatives at the hearing.

“He should be put to sleep, because he killed my grandson,” Jamil’s grandfather Gerome DeShields told

Tricoche is being held on $1 million bail.