A story has been going viral on social media platforms which speaks of a verdict by a judge in America in a young boy's case where he was found stealing bread to feed himself and his mother as their financial condition was not good.
The story has been shared on LinkedIn, Medium, Facebook, and is being circulated in Whatsapp groups as well. This story has been going viral since mid-2020. We also saw multiple posts with same claim shared with photos of young boys in different criminal cases. You can see the posts here, here, and here.
We also received several messages on our WhatsApp fact check no. +91-6364000343 requesting to fact check the claim.
A boy, who was charged with stealing bread, was let off by the judge due to his financial condition, also given aid by the judge. Photos of the young boy in court were also attached to some posts with the story.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it to be false.
To start our investigation, we tried finding court or media records of this case in the US through a simple Google search. There were no official records, or media reports by credible sources which could verify this claim.
Although, we did come across a similar incident that was reported in April 2020 in India. It was from Bihar and was reported by Times of India and Zee News. This story had very similar elements as in the viral post, and was showing up in the search results when we tried looking for media records of the alleged American court case.
Since multiple of the posts going viral in 2021 with this story had a couple of photos attached to it, we also conducted a reverse image search on the photos.
We found that one of the photos was actually from a 2011 trial of 12-year-old Christian Juan Fernandez who was arrested for murdering his half-brother David in the town of Jacksonville. It was reported by Jacksonville.com and Fox News.
The other photo was from a 2013 trial of 14-year-old Antonio Barbeau who was sentenced to a life in prison for murdering his great-grandmother in Wisconsin. It was reported in the Wisconsin Law Journal
The Logical Indian Fact Check team finds the claim of the story to be false, and the photos of two separate criminal cases are used with false context. No such case has been reported by any credible media outlets, and those boys, whose photos are used, are accused of murder, not stealing bread.
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