Sunday, November 9, 2008

8-Year Old Boy Charged with Double Murder

VIDEO REPORT: 8 year-old accused of murder in Flagstaff, AZ

According to MSNBC- It's a crime that police officers in a small eastern Arizona community can hardly fathom yet have to deal with: an 8-year-old charged in the fatal shootings of his father and another man.

"Who would think an 8-year-old kid could kill two adults?" St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick said Friday.

The killings on Wednesday sent shock waves through St. Johns, a community of about 4,000 people. The boy had no disciplinary record at school, and there was no indication he had any problems at home, prosecutors said.
"It was such a tragedy," said the boy's defense attorney, Benjamin Brewer. "You have two people dead; you have an 8-year-old in jail. It tugs at the heart strings. It's a shocker, no doubt about it."

On Friday, a judge determined there was probable cause to show that the boy fatally shot his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, with a .22-caliber rifle. The boy faces two counts of premeditated murder. Under Arizona law, charges can be filed against anyone 8 or older.

Police said the boy did not act on the "spur of the moment," though he didn't elaborate on what the motive might have been.

Police officers arrived at Romero's home within minutes of the shooting Wednesday. They found one victim just outside the front door and the other dead in an upstairs room.

Romans had been renting a room at the Romero house, prosecutors said. Both men were employees of a construction company working at a Salt River Project power plant.

The boy went to a neighbor's house and said he "believed that his father was dead," said Apache County attorney Brad Carlyon.
Melnick said police obtained a confession from the boy, but Brewer said police overreached in questioning the boy without representation from a parent or attorney and did not advise him of his rights.

"They became very accusing early on in the interview," Brewer said. "Two officers with guns at their side, it's very scary for anybody, for sure an 8-year-old kid."

A judge ordered a psychological evaluation of the boy, who was being held at the Apache County juvenile detention center.
"He had no record of any kind, not even a disciplinary record at school," he said. "He has never been in trouble before."

FBI statistics show instances of children younger than 11 committing homicides are very rare. According to recent FBI supplementary homicide reports, there were at least three such cases each year in 2003, 2004 and 2005; there were at least 15 in 2002. More recent statistics weren't available, nor were details of the cases.
Earlier this year in Arizona, prosecutors in Cochise County filed first-degree murder charges against a 12-year-old boy accused of killing his mother.
Romero had full custody of the child. The boy's biological mother visited St. Johns during the weekend from Mississippi, and returned to Arizona after the shootings, Carlyon said.
Brewer said the boy appeared to be in good spirits, but "he's scared."

"He's trying to be tough, but he's scared," according to his lawyer.

1 comment:

flight risk said...

Is it possible the boy was sexually abused? How is it a child was able to get access to a shot gun in the first place?

Where's the mother or other familiy members?

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