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NJ Man Slashed Throats of Sleeping Kids

By Andrew Lu on September 05, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Osvaldo Rivera stands accused of slashing two children in the throat -- killing one -- after going on a drug-induced rampage.

The Camden, New Jersey man allegedly went inside a neighbor's apartment and attacked the two sleeping children. The younger child, a six-year-old boy, was killed, while his 12-year-old sister survived the initial attack and is currently in a hospital, reports The Associated Press.

When Rivera was found hiding between a mattress and bedroom wall, he reportedly admitted to authorities that he was high on marijuana and PCP, reports the AP.

Neighbors of the slashing victims later told reporters that they could not believe that Osvaldo Rivera could be responsible for such a crime. However, the use of a hallucinogenic drug like PCP has been linked to outrageously violent acts in the past, reports the AP.

Authorities say that the combination of marijuana and PCP can make people incoherent, hallucinatory, and violent. Just a few weeks ago, a 33-year-old Camden woman allegedly decapitated her two-year-old toddler and then fatally stabbed herself after smoking a similar combination, commonly known as "wet," reports the AP.

Osvaldo Rivera now faces murder and attempted murder charges. These crimes normally require specific intent for guilt. That means that the suspect usually needs to have the mindset to commit murder to be convicted of the crime.

It will be interesting to see what role Rivera's alleged drug use will play in the trial and whether or not the judge or jury will consider it when determining if he is guilty of murder. If a court considers the drug use, Osvaldo Rivera may be convicted of a lesser crime like involuntary manslaughter for slashing the two children. If the court does not consider the drug use as a defense, Rivera could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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