8 yr old appears in court...for killing 2

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by strollingbones, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    Prosecutors Say Boy Methodically Shot His Father


    An 8-year-old Arizona boy charged with premeditated murder in the deaths of his father and another man shot each victim at least four times with a .22-caliber rifle, methodically stopping and reloading as he killed them, prosecutors said Monday.

    Although investigators initially said they thought the boy might have suffered severe physical or sexual trauma, they have found no evidence of abuse, said Roy Melnick, the police chief in St. Johns, Ariz., where the shootings occurred. Psychologists say such abuse is often a factor in the extremely rare instances in which a small child murders a parent.

    An investigation found no evidence that the boy had had disciplinary problems at school or shown signs that he was troubled, Chief Melnick said. “That’s what makes this case somewhat puzzling,” he said, adding that the court had ordered a psychological evaluation for the boy. “Our goal is to get him some help.”

    Kathleen M. Heide, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida, said the odds of such killings “are so infinitesimal, it’s really hard to even comprehend.”

    From 1976 to 2005, there were 62 cases in the United States in which a 7- or 8-year-old was arrested on murder charges, said Dr. Heide, who analyzed F.B.I. data. Only two of those cases involved a child killing a parent. Children younger than 7 who commit killings are not charged in most states.

    In cases in which a child kills a parent, the child is typically a teenager and usually acts for one of three reasons, psychologists say. Most often, the child has suffered years of physical or sexual abuse. Others kill because of severe mental illness. And some have extreme antisocial or psychopathic tendencies — a child who is used to getting his way and kills out of anger.

    “The wrinkle here,” Dr. Heide said, “is that this boy is so young, it could possibly be immaturity and impulsivity.” In children as young as 8, parts of the brain that weigh decisions and consequences are so underdeveloped that a child might not understand the finality of death.

    The boy in Arizona was no stranger to weapons — his father, an avid hunter, reportedly trained his son to shoot prairie dogs — and psychologists said that might have played a role.

    The shootings occurred Wednesday afternoon in the two-story home in St. Johns, about 200 miles northeast of Phoenix, where the boy lived with his father, Vincent Romero, 29. The deputy attorney for Apache County, Brad Carlyon, said Monday that the boy was taken to the police by his grandmother and initially considered a victim because he was believed to have discovered the men’s bodies.

    But about 45 minutes into an hourlong police interview, Mr. Carlyon said, the boy confessed to shooting his father and a man who rented a room in the house, Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos, Ariz.

    Mr. Carlyon said the boy told the police that he had been spanked at home the night before because he was having trouble at school. But, the prosecutor said, the boy “did not say that was the reason he committed any of the acts.”

    Prosecutors said the murder weapon was a single-action .22-caliber hunting rifle that requires reloading before each shot. “He had to eject the shell from the rifle and put in a new shell each time he fired,” Mr. Carlyon said.

    Mr. Carlyon and Chief Melnick spoke to The New York Times shortly before an Apache County judge placed a gag order on lawyers and the police a little before noon Monday.

    Mr. Romero, who was divorced from the boy’s mother, had recently remarried and had custody of his son. Mr. Romero was the first victim, investigators said, shot in the head and chest as he walked up a staircase inside the house shortly after 5 p.m.

    Mr. Romans was outside the house talking on his cellphone to his wife, Mr. Carlyon said, when he heard some commotion inside. Mr. Carlyon said the rifle produced only a “muffled, soft popping” sound, making it likely that Mr. Romans had no idea what had happened inside. Mr. Carlyon said Mr. Romans had told his wife that the boy was calling for him. He was on the porch on his way into the house when he was shot in the chest and head, the authorities said.

    The police arrived at the house one minute after receiving a phone call from a neighbor at 5:08 p.m., Chief Melnick said. Both men were dead. The chief said the boy was not immediately taken into custody. “He was considered a witness,” Chief Melnick said.

    A secretary for the boy’s lawyer, Benjamin Brewer, said Mr. Brewer was in court all day Monday and could not be reached for comment. Mr. Brewer has said that neither he nor the boy’s family was present for the questioning and that the boy was not read his rights. He is being held at the Apache County Juvenile Detention Center.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/us/11child.html?ref=us


    so far...and it is early..they have found...no abuse...the kid reloaded...this goes against that poor baby they did something to him ....line of defense...
    i was shocked at the number of 8 yr old charged for murder in the last 10 yrs...
     
  2. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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  3. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Here goes. I know I'm going to get a flogging here but think about this before you go a-flogging me.

    He was 8. He had been trained to kill prairie dogs. And he was presumably younger than 8 before his father trained him to kill animals.

    If I were a hunter, which I'm not, I would have waited quite a few years before introducing my child to the idea of killing animals for food.

    As I said, don't get hysterical and think about what I've written here.

    I've seen what happens to animals we raise and slaughter on an industrial scale for food. Hunting is fine with me, you go out, you make a good kill, you use the animal for food. No problem and morally (if anyone from PETA wants to flog me too) superior than me going to the supermarket and looking at the meat cabinet.

    But at 8 the kid should have been out doing something else, not learning to kill animals. Think about it before you descend on me.
     
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  4. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    i have wondered about that also...but you have to consider this..pairie dogs are like rats to the people out there....they dig burrows that will easily break a horse's leg if the horse steps into one...they are pest and treated as such....the father did consult a priest about teaching the child to hunt so early...leading me to believe the father was not real sure of his own decision and wanted affirmation...with that said...i began to go out hunting before i was 8...we didnt carry guns at that age but were taken out with the family....it is odd how that goes...you either fall in love with hunting or elect to move on....i moved on...chiding them for killing the bird of peace..(big dove hunters) and didnt really cut them any slack when the guns set off their inner ears and they would be tossing cookies...unable to raise their heads...my husband started before 8....going out with family...esp at holidays...but he, too, elected not to hunt...my son...started around 8...he no longer hunts....but i cannot make the leap from hunting to killing two people....i am sorry just cant make that leap..but i do remember my uncle when we would ask him ..."why do we only get one bullet?" he would always reply...."so you dumb shits can only kill one of us" but we knew he was referring or at least we thought he was referring to an accident..now i am not so sure.

    the fact that he reloaded....i am sorry....i can give ya shooting one person and going....o what have i done? but reloading and shooting each one 4 times? at what point do we accept the fact that he has become a predator???? we cannot deal with the road that got him here right now....it will be interesting to see what is said about that....we can only address where he is right now...he is the coldblooded killer of two....yea at age 8...now what do you do? how do you deal with him? there are many valid points ... he will be preyed upon in any system...he will be the youngest of the young and the weakest...can he be expected to be charged as an adult.. can we charge 8 yr old killers as adults...if charged as an adult where does he do time...are you gonna lock this kid up in a single cell for more of his life than he has lived?
     
  5. Dis
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    You think you're going to get dumped on for your opinion?

    He *murdered* two people. He gets the same treatment as anyone else who does such, IMO. Nuke him.
     
  6. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    I'm arguing that at that age he was desensitised to killing. I don't know if he learned to kill animals earlier than 8 but I wonder if he was desensitised.

    bones - why would you teach an 8 (or possibly earlier) year old kid to shoot prairie dogs because of danger. Can't responsible adults do it?

    I'm going to go out on a limb. I suggest the kid was desensitised to killing. Now, the motivation for killing these adults I don't know of course, I'm not even going to begin to speculate and I don't mean that as a nod and a wink tactic. The police have said there appear to be no signs of abuse of the kid. So that angle may - just may - be dismissed.

    You know where I am the kid wouldn't be charged with a crime? The age of criminal responsibility here starts at 10 and even between 10 and 14 we have to prove major "mischievous propensity". The circumstances, all of them, are important.
     
  7. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    a 14 year old can not decide to have sex or not with an 18 year old, according to the law, because his or her brain is not developed in full and understands the consequences...

    How does an 8 year old?

    this child is either a born mental case, or he was made to be as he was through his circumstance...which we are not aware of the full story yet...(how nasty was the divorce? was he abused by the mother and this is why the father got custody of the child? etc.)


    My sister worked as a special ed teacher in a juvenile detention center....one of her favorite boys was a 14 year old that had killed his father who was a wife and child beater, when he was 11 years old....just saying, some children are savalgeable...
     
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  8. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    the devil is always in the details..eh?

    i understand what you are saying about becoming harden to killing. but he killed his father...say that with me...he killed his father. who had full custody of him and from all outward appearances was a loving father..we all know that outward appearances are not always reality. but so far the only smoking gun seems to be the one the kid used.

    and riddle me this..if you were the boy's mother and they did release him...would you want him in your house...and if you did...would you ever sleep well again?
     
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  9. Care4all
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    i think he belongs in a psyche ward or a juvenile detention center. I do not think he should be released to his mother, even if something did screw him up ahead of his killing them, him killing them... surely justifies punishment and/or psychological help, and mercy...at least at this point...

    no signs of being disturbed or in any trouble....??? that just blows my mind, makes this so much harder to comprehend???? so hard to understand how an 8 year old can be so calculated/cold, unless some sort of mental disorder or total lack of reasoning development???

    care
     
  10. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    An 8 year old's brain is not as developed as an adult's brain. 8 years old, the kid's gotta have something wrong with his brain. Find out what it is, fix it and release him back into society.
     

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