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Prosecutors: Man told toddler to put fists up before beating boy to death after fight over groceries

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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.


  • confused

    Another early release as a non-violent drug offender perhaps? He was convicted multiple times but was he ever sentenced? Should be taken out back and let the boy’s family punch him until he dies.


    Drug related convictions…..aren’t these the model citizens our
    lea…..leade……I can’t say it, is releasing from our Federal Prisons. They’re harmless druggies, that’s all.

  • Jane Smith

    Another precious little innocent child murdered by a “boyfriend”. I don’t understand why after the mother called 911, the article said she took Jamil to the hospital. Why didn’t the paramedics come? The piece of filth that did this doesn’t deserve another breath of oxygen. I hope they have the death penalty in N.J.

  • food for thought

    I hate hearing stories like this, it completly brakes my heart. I fell so sad for this little boy God bless his beautiful soul.
    the mom should feel horrible knowing she let that man in her sons life and could still have her baby if she made a much better choice to rise her child unstead of being in a relationship with a drugie. Our children need to come first , if they did we wouldent be hearing stories about children being killed by moms or dads boyfriend or girlfrend.

    • atjones

      Instead of blaming the mother for circumstances you know knowing of, how about holding that worthless man accountable for his own goddamn actions? Jesus Christ.

    • M

      You should really do some research on the cycle of abusive relationships and the VERY REAL fear they instill in their victims. The mother is probably beside herself and will replay that day over and over in her head until the day she dies. If this man went completely mental over groceries, I can guarantee he pulled the “if you leave me, I will kill you” line….and judging by what happened to this poor defenseless child… I wouldn’t doubt that he would have actually killed her if she tried to leave. Instead of blaming the mother, let’s try and find more ways to reach out to the silent, behind the scenes victims of domestic abuse and provide the help they so desperately need.

      • timetolove

        Research? No I lived it for 2 years I know the manipulation, the I will amount to nothing speach, walking on egg shells. I was with a man for 2 years (married) that abused me mentally and physically it wasn’t until I my child was born and at 6 months old was screaming like I’ve never heard. i said enough! I did research I talked to therapists I got my ged a car and finally a job secretly hid money hired a lawyer and never looked back. It wasn’t easy because he always knew everything before i even told him and lying made me sick as hell. I know my wost fear was when we went to court for child support and visitation of our daughter. Thank goodness he had to sit (for a different reason) and was ordered supervised visits and more than half the time had a lame excuse why he wouldn’t make it. He hasn’t attempted contact for 8 years now. My daughter is 17 years old and will be graduating this coming spring. We did together, we pulled out of the most horrible and demeaning part of our life and it took ME to defend my daughter and myself to get away to be strong for the both of us. Everytime he would say I’m worthless, I would think to myself look in the mirror. everytime he would yell at me I would block his voice out, when he put his hands on me I would say this would be the last, but when he hurt my little defensless daughter, I said NEVER AGAIN!
        There are hotlines for domestic violence and abuse. Talk to a doctor, a friend (one you trust) Anyone that you can trust, ask for help because you can find it, you can survive and you are worth it, there is away out. There is hope, there is better tomorrows.

        Is that research enough?

  • Kara

    What kind of a grown man tells a two year old to put up his fists to fight him?! The ADULT who told a toddler to fight him is a poor excuse for a monster! This monster is pathetic. May the little angel rest in peace.

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