DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – He’s just four-feet, two-inches tall, and barely looks his age.  But a 12-year-old Dallas boy admitted Tuesday to his role in a robbery that led to the death of 19-year-old Octavius Lanier on the DART rail line.

Lanier was killed on November 22 after a group of boys tried to steal his iPod and pushed him onto the DART rail line tracks.  The victim was struck by a train and was pronounced dead at a Dallas hospital.  Dallas Police say four boys were involved in taunting and pushing the victim, but defense attorneys say the 12-year-old who appeared in Juvenile Court today was the least aggressive of them all.

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Judge William Mazur ordered the boy be placed in the custody of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department until he is 19, but he could be released sooner, on parole.

Two other boys received 30-year sentences each.

In a very soft voice the boy in court today told Lanier’s mother he apologized “and I will try to be a better man in my life.”

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Lanier’s mother, Taykesha Harper, ran out of the courtroom after the 12-year-old apologized.  “I thought it was beautiful” she said.  “I could feel it.  The moment I heard his voice, it made me think about my own son and I just about lost it.”

A fourth boy will have his hearing at a later date.

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