8-year-old arrested in double-homicide - Crime & courts
Boy may face murder charges in fatal shooting of father, boarder
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 7:20 p.m. ET, Fri., Nov. 7, 2008
An 8-year-old Arizona boy may face double-murder charges in the shooting death of his father and another man at the family residence, The Arizona Republic reported Friday on its Web site.
The child is being held in juvenile custody for a hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon in Apache County Justice Court.
St. John Police Chief Roy Melnick told the newspaper that officers arrived at the home in the rural community of St. John in eastern Arizona within minutes of the shooting on Wednesday. They found one of the victims deceased just outside the front door and another dead in an upstairs room.
Found dead were the boy's 29-year-old father, whose name was withheld by the newspaper to avoid identifying the boy, and a boarder at their home, Tim Romans, 39.
Neighbors reported the sound of gunfire, according to Melnick.
Arizona law generally holds that a child lacks competency to be held responsible for a homicide.
However, Melnick told the newspaper, â€œWe think an exception can be made based on the facts and circumstances â€¦ This is precedent-setting. We're going to charge an 8-year-old with two counts of homicide."