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Author Topic: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men  (Read 3668 times)

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Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« on: November 09, 2008, 05:16:57 AM »

Yikes!! This one is going to get even uglier. From the snippets I heard on CNN yesterday, the child was interviewed by officers and "confessed" without any other adult relatives or legal representations present. Some good questions were raised as well. How does an 8 year old pluck off two adult males? And more importantly, why?



ST. JOHNS, Ariz., Nov. 8 -- An 8-year-old boy has been charged with killing his father and another man, and police in this small eastern Arizona community are looking into the possibility that the child had been abused, the police chief said Saturday.

The boy was charged as a juvenile with two counts of premeditated murder because he allegedly did not act on the spur of the moment, Police Chief Roy Melnick said.

"I'm not accusing anybody of anything at this point," he said Saturday. "But we're certainly going to look at the abuse part of this. He's 8 years old. He just doesn't decide one day that he's going to shoot his father and shoot his father's friend for no reason. Something led up to this."

On Friday, a judge determined that there was probable cause to show that the boy fatally shot his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos, with a .22-caliber rifle.

Under Arizona law, charges can be filed against anyone age 8 or older. The judge ordered a psychological evaluation of the boy.

Police are pushing to have the boy tried as an adult, Melnick said, but he acknowledged it is unlikely that a judge would grant that motion. If convicted as a minor, the boy could be sent to juvenile detention until he turns 18.

Police had responded to calls of domestic violence at the Romero home in the past, and authorities were searching records Saturday to determine when those calls were placed, Melnick said.

"We're going to use every avenue of the law that's available to us, but we're also looking at the human side," he said.

Melnick said officers arrived at Romero's home within minutes of the shooting Wednesday in St. Johns, which has a population of about 4,000 and is 170 miles northeast of Phoenix. They found one victim just outside the front door and the other 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 power plant near St. Johns.

Apache County Attorney Brad Carlyon said the boy had no record of complaints with Arizona Child Protective Services.

"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 that instances of children younger than 11 committing homicides are 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 were not 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.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/08/AR2008110802243.html?wpisrc=newsletter

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princess of ptTopic starter

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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 05:28:32 AM »

Of course, I came across an update to the story minutes after starting the thread  :vc:



Priest: Slain dad had taught boy, 8, to use guns

ST. JOHNS, Ariz. -- A man who police believe was shot and killed by his 8-year-old son had consulted a Roman Catholic priest about whether the boy should handle guns and had taught him how to use a rifle, the clergyman said Saturday.

The father, Vincent Romero, 29, was from a family of avid hunters and wanted to make sure the boy wasn't afraid of guns, said the Very Rev. John Paul Sauter of St. Johns Catholic Church. The boy's stepmother had suggested he have a BB gun, the priest said.

Romero taught his son how to use a rifle to kill prairie dogs, Sauter said. Police say the boy used a .22-caliber rifle Wednesday to kill his father and another man, Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos.

The priest did not say how he advised the couple but said Saturday that the boy "was just too young."

"That child, I don't think he knows what he did, and it was brutal," Sauter said.

The boy, who faces two counts of premeditated murder, did not act on the spur of the moment, St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick said. Police are looking into whether he might have been abused.

"I'm not accusing anybody of anything at this point," he said Saturday. "But we're certainly going to look at the abuse part of this. He's 8 years old. He just doesn't decide one day that he's going to shoot his father and shoot his father's friend for no reason. Something led up to this."

The boy's father and stepmother had gotten married in September, said Sauter, who presided over the wedding.

Romero had full custody of the child. The boy's mother had visited St. Johns from Mississippi the previous weekend and returned to Arizona after the shootings, said Apache County Attorney Brad Carlyon.

On Friday, a judge ordered a psychological evaluation of the boy. Under Arizona law, charges can be filed against anyone 8 or older.

The boy had no record of complaints with Arizona Child Protective Services, Carlyon said.

"He had no record of any kind, not even a disciplinary record at school," he said. "He has never been in trouble before."

In a sign of the emotional and legal complexities of the case, police are pushing to have the boy tried as an adult even as they investigate possible abuse, Melnick said. If convicted as a minor, the boy could be sent to juvenile detention until he turns 18.

"We're going to use every avenue of the law that's available to us, but we're also looking at the human side," he said.

The boy's lawyer, Benjamin Brewer, said his client is generally in good spirits.

"He's scared," he said. "He's trying to be tough, but he's scared."

Police are also investigating whether there were any domestic violence calls to the Romero home in the past, Melnick said.

Officers arrived at Romero's home within minutes of the shooting Wednesday in St. Johns, which has a population of about 4,000 and is 170 miles northeast of Phoenix. 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 power plant near St. Johns.

The boy went to a neighbor's house and said he "believed that his father was dead," Carlyon said.

Melnick said police got a confession, but Brewer said police overreached in questioning the boy without representation from a parent or attorney and did not advise him of his rights.

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.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/09/AR2008110900414_2.html



Things to think about;

Should young children be taught to use firearms?

Should the child be tried as an adult?

How do you advise an 8 year old of his "rights", do 8 year olds even understand what rights are?

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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 04:41:04 PM »

I'm really surprised that they are charging him with murder and that "police are pushing to have the boy tried as an adult". Are they going to give him the death penalty too? At common law there is a rebuttable presumption that a child between the age of 7 to 13 does not have the mental capacity to commit murder. The burden is on the state to show that he can form the sufficient mental premeditation to know that he was committing a murder and not just firing a gun at someone like in the cartoons.

I dont know what the law is in Arizona but it sounds like maybe it's another one of those arbitrary age designations where if youre a day before the 7th or 8th birthday you cant be charged but if the act happened a day after, you can not only be charged for murder but also tried as an adult regardless of any extenuating circumstances. I dont know how society benefits from the arbitrary application of laws like that.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 06:09:58 PM »

This is beginning to really puzzle me. Nobody has a bad thing to say about the father or the step-mother and the child has no record of being a discipline problem, however the reports are stating this was premeditated. In a strange way I almost don't want to imagine what would make a young child from a seemingly "idyllic" family kill his own father and another man.

updated 2 hours, 12 minutes ago
ST. JOHNS, Ariz. - People in this small, tight-knit community are reeling from the killing of a well-liked man police say was shot by his own 8-year-old son, and they will likely turn out in droves for his funeral.

"I don't think this church is big enough to handle it all," said the Very Rev. John Paul Sauter of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, a co-worker who also rented a room from him, were found dead inside Romero's home ? one at the entrance and one in an upstairs room. Police charged Romero's son with two counts of premeditated murder.

"The recent tragedy in our community has been very sad, an incident that makes us ask 'Why?' yet pulls our citizens together with love and support," said Ross Overson, mayor of the town in eastern Arizona. "Without exception, the entire community has been affected by this tragic loss. No community can begin to understand how something like this could happen."

Ask anyone here, and chances are they know a member of the Romero family.

"Everybody knows them because there's like 100 of them," said Marybeth Ellsworth, who played the piano at Romero's wedding in September. "They're very well-liked in the community."

Funeral mass set for Tuesday
A prayer service was scheduled Sunday for Romero, and his funeral Mass was set for Tuesday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Resident Flynt Smith said Romero and Romans were "the best neighbors we've ever had." They helped out when he was installing sprinklers in his yard and when his roof needed repairs, he said.

Such relationships are common in St. Johns, a town of about 4,000 people 170 miles northeast of Phoenix, helping draw new people to the community and ensuring that those who were born there stick around as longtime residents, said Smith's wife, Amber.

"I feel you help each other raise each other's children, and you don't see that anymore," she said.
Chelsie Jaramillo, who moved into the house across the street from Vincent Romero just two weeks ago with her husband and two children, said Romero's wife, Tiffany, welcomed her and told her to holler if she ever needed anything.

"They were really nice," said Jaramillo, 19.

At St. John the Baptist, Romero sang in the choir and his wife had also signed up. The couple spent two years preparing for marriage, and when they tied the knot in September the "church was packed," Sauter said.

"Because both their parents were divorced, they wanted to make sure their marriage lasted until death, and it did," Sauter said.

Boy's mother visited last weekend
Romero had full custody of the 8-year-old boy and the marriage made Tiffany Romero his stepmother. The boy's mother had visited St. Johns from Mississippi last weekend and returned to Arizona after the shootings that took place Wednesday, said Apache County Attorney Brad Carlyon.

Only two others have been killed in the town in the past 20 years.

"We're still in shock," said Carl Hamblin, who used to coach Romero in Little League. "This is so out of the norm, and to this day, I don't believe it could happen again."

Residents, religious organizations, the school district and local businesses were preparing food for the family and offering support and counseling to everyone affected by what Overson calls an "unexplainable heartache."

"God, time and the gracious service of our residents will heal each of us as we move forward," Overson said. "That is what our city is about."


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27600105
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 09:23:20 PM »

Unfortunately, this shit happens frequently and I won't speculate on the reasons why an 8 year old boy from a "seemingly idyllic family" would blow his father and his father's friend away.

Suffice to say that in my experience, there is no such thing as "idyllic" when it comes to childhood, and if a family seems "too good to be true," 9 times out of 10 they are.

I'm quite sure that more will be revealed as the case progresses, but unless this child was born a sociopath, SOMETHING happened to him to cause this.  And no one, including the press, knows what that is except for him and his perfect family.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2008, 09:53:35 PM »

The thing is, how can they be so sure that an 8 year old boy knows the consequences of his actions? You need to have a "guilty mind" as well as have committed a guilty act for criminal punishment and Im not sure an 8 year old is capable of that. I would say that most 8 year olds aren't.

There seems to be a rush to judgment to charge this kid as a adult. As horrible as the situation is, you cant go punishing toddlers as adults for bad acts alone.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2008, 09:54:53 PM »

this poor kid must have REALLY been fucked up over something to do this. i fucking detest people who fuck with children and animals. they make me physically ill.

as much as i don't really want to, i'm going to speculate wildly before anything else comes out of the press. i will say the man boarding with the boy and his family was molesting the boy and when the boy gathered enough courage to tell the father, either the father didn't take him seriously, punished him for saying "crazy" things/lying, or didn't address the circumstance adequately for monetary reasons and the child felt he had to take matters into his own hands. i don't know if i hope i'm wrong yet.

as an aside, i love how the public is always so apt to paint the assumed "victims" so gloriously. just wait til the shit floats to the top, the father will probably turn out to be some sort of crooked meth head or something  :sad:
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2008, 10:06:33 PM »

this poor kid must have REALLY been fucked up over something to do this. i fucking detest people who fuck with children and animals. they make me physically ill.

as much as i don't really want to, i'm going to speculate wildly before anything else comes out of the press. i will say the man boarding with the boy and his family was molesting the boy and when the boy gathered enough courage to tell the father, either the father didn't take him seriously, punished him for saying "crazy" things/lying, or didn't address the circumstance adequately for monetary reasons and the child felt he had to take matters into his own hands. i don't know if i hope i'm wrong yet.

as an aside, i love how the public is always so apt to paint the assumed "victims" so gloriously. just wait til the shit floats to the top, the father will probably turn out to be some sort of crooked meth head or something  :sad:

No doubt the boarder and the dad where both molesting the Kid.

Maybe it wasn't a good idea for me to teach my son how to shoot, he's a much better shot than me now. Then again, i'm not abusing him so it should be fine.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2008, 10:23:14 PM »

This case suddenly made me think of the Menendez brothers. I can't really describe why just yet. Maybe he was "spoiled rotten"?
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2008, 10:38:40 PM »

The Menedez brothers killed their wealthy parents, went to great lengths to try and cover it up and went of a spending spree for months after that. All which showed premeditation and guilt. This 8 year old didnt do the same, did he?
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 10:50:54 PM »

The Menedez brothers killed their wealthy parents, went to great lengths to try and cover it up and went of a spending spree for months after that. All which showed premeditation and guilt. This 8 year old didnt do the same, did he?

No, not at all like that. I'm leaning more toward a scenario where people over provide for their children and "try" their hardest to give a child what they never had themselves, then set high expectations, and instead of rewarding with love and compassion, they reward with material objects and are quicker to point out the negative behaviors before administering a reward. It's a whole different level of emotional "abuse".
Maybe this kid asked for a pokemon game or something and didn't get it quick enough or was told "no" and was pissed off enough to teach his father a lesson?

I really don't know. I'm still trying to make sense of what could possibly drive an 8 year old to do something so heinous.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2008, 11:03:21 PM »

No doubt the boarder and the dad where both molesting the Kid.

Maybe it wasn't a good idea for me to teach my son how to shoot, he's a much better shot than me now. Then again, i'm not abusing him so it should be fine.

I don't feel teaching a child to use a firearm is a great idea. An 8 year old from Connecticut was just killed at a gun show last week while his father was showing him how to fire a fucking uzi. I didn't read about it, so I'm not clear on the specifics, but from what I heard on the radio, it sounds like the recoil shot rounds into the air and he was struck in the head because of that bastard Newton and his laws of motion.

Guns aren't toys. They have one function. To KILL or maim people or animals. A child shouldn't have access to an object specifically designed to KILL or maim unless he/she fully understands the repercussions of death. IMHO.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2008, 11:07:01 PM »

I really don't know. I'm still trying to make sense of what could possibly drive an 8 year old to do something so heinous.

That's just it - you cant make sense of it because kids that age dont use rationality. They dont usually think about what they do, they act first and then think if they are even able to. No, there is no parallel to the Menedez bros or any other adult case to be made here other than a parent being killed. Whatever made him snap was probably something that just happened shortly before the act.

If there is evidence that somehow he planned this for days for whatever reason or told a friend he was going to kill his dad or something, then that would show a more conscious regard for his actions and that would be different but so far I havent heard of anything like that.
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RizenPhoeniz

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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2008, 11:09:57 PM »

I don't feel teaching a child to use a firearm is a great idea. An 8 year old from Connecticut was just killed at a gun show last week while his father was showing him how to fire a fucking uzi. I didn't read about it, so I'm not clear on the specifics, but from what I heard on the radio, it sounds like the recoil shot rounds into the air and he was struck in the head because of that bastard Newton and his laws of motion.

Guns aren't toys. They have one function. To KILL or maim people or animals. A child shouldn't have access to an object specifically designed to KILL or maim unless he/she fully understands the repercussions of death. IMHO.

8 is to young, my mom, a CHP officer taught me how to handle a firearm at age 12, that's the age I taught my son.  He also learned that it wasn't a toy, before I taught him how to use it I took him hunting with me, it gave him a respect for what a firearm was really for.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2008, 11:23:00 PM »

That's just it - you cant make sense of it because kids that age dont use rationality. They dont usually think about what they do, they act first and then think if they are even able to. No, there is no parallel to the Menedez bros or any other adult case to be made here other than a parent being killed. Whatever made him snap was probably something that just happened shortly before the act.

If there is evidence that somehow he planned this for days for whatever reason or told a friend he was going to kill his dad or something, then that would show a more conscious regard for his actions and that would be different but so far I havent heard of anything like that.

Yeah...you're right. There couldn't have even been some sort of skewed logic or foresight into the decision. 8 year olds still think Santa is real for the most part.

Gosh I really can't fathom something besides the reprehensibly gruesome that would make such a little mind decide impulsively that this was something reasonable to do. I wonder how long before his "confession" will be publicized, or will that be kept out of the media because of his age?
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2008, 11:27:48 PM »

8 is to young, my mom, a CHP officer...


OMG! does she know Erik Estrada!?  :vc:


j/k i'm silly tonight, long weekend.

taught me how to handle a firearm at age 12, that's the age I taught my son.  He also learned that it wasn't a toy, before I taught him how to use it I took him hunting with me, it gave him a respect for what a firearm was really for.

i guess 12 is better than 8, but it still bothers me. though, not enough to shoot my son in the ass with an airsoft or a paintball gun. i dont know why, but that look of shock (the one that says "i cant believe my own mother just shot me in the ass with a paintball gun, i'm gonna have to hide the C02's!" is always damned funny!!
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2008, 11:36:34 PM »



OMG! does she know Erik Estrada!?  :vc:


j/k i'm silly tonight, long weekend.

i guess 12 is better than 8, but it still bothers me. though, not enough to shoot my son in the ass with an airsoft or a paintball gun. i dont know why, but that look of shock (the one that says "i cant believe my own mother just shot me in the ass with a paintball gun, i'm gonna have to hide the C02's!" is always damned funny!!

Too funny

amazingly, yes she has met Erik Estrada, she has an autograph picture of him right next to her autograph picture of John Schneider, see worked a lot of traffic control for celeb events.
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2008, 11:41:18 PM »

Too funny

amazingly, yes she has met Erik Estrada, she has an autograph picture of him right next to her autograph picture of John Schneider, see worked a lot of traffic control for celeb events.

eww, she can keep the good ole boy! i'll take erik, hehehe!
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2008, 01:25:08 AM »

WOW what a horrible story! I was thinking the same thing IP was thinking- either kid was fucked with or was a born sociopath. I mean - who kills cute fuckin prarie dogs? They are so effing CUTE! =P
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Re: Boy, 8, Charged With Killing 2 Men
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2008, 01:40:34 AM »

WOW what a horrible story! I was thinking the same thing IP was thinking- either kid was fucked with or was a born sociopath. I mean - who kills cute fuckin prarie dogs? They are so effing CUTE! =P

Everyone that owns cattle/livestock.

The cows and other animals often break legs in the den holes.
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