November 19, 2008

Free the eight-year-old alleged killer

Posted: 02:52 PM ET

NEW YORK–The debate over whether the eight-year-old Arizona boy should be prosecuted as an adult or as a juvenile misses the point entirely: he should not be prosecuted at all.

Most of the civilized world recognizes that children are not criminally responsible for their actions until they reach a level of maturity such that they can clearly distinguish between right and wrong. In the United States, 37 states, including Arizona, have no minimum age at which a child can be prosecuted.

We thus treat our own children more severely than does Pakistan, Myanmar, or Sudan, which fix their age of criminal responsibility at seven. The age of criminal responsibility in France is 13; China, Germany, Italy and Japan, 14; in Scandinavian countries, 15; Brazil, Colombia and Peru, 18. And in most of these countries, young offenders are tried in juvenile courts and provided with social services upon conviction, with incarceration as a last resort.

In the United States, 25,000 young offenders are now serving time for crimes committed as minors but for which they were charged and convicted as adults. These young people are eight times more likely to commit suicide behind bars and five times more likely to become victims of sexual assault than their adult counterparts.

Real questions have emerged from the videotaped interrogation as to whether this third-grader has now given a false confession. But even assuming he was the shooter, pinning any legal blame on him is absurd. Bringing police and incarceration to bear upon a young child whose feet dangle well above the floor is not only cruel to him, it distracts us from the real issues.

Arizona’s lax gun laws do not require adults to keep their guns away from children, or even to install trigger locks. As long as we allow angry or confused kids access to guns, we will have gun deaths. Are we so afraid to address the real issue that we’d prosecute a little boy?

–Lisa Bloom, In Session anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized

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Howard Kurtz   November 19th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

No minimum age in 37 states? That's remarkable. We can argue about what that age of prosecution ought to be, since armed teenagers can obviously be dangerous. But how can most of the states just punt on this question? Maybe all the TV attention to this kid's case will spark a debate on that.

Miriam   November 19th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

This is a messed up case. Sounds like the police are acting very permature about this one.

Laura   November 19th, 2008 3:27 pm ET

I am in complete agreement that he should NOT be prosecuted at all. He needs help as I'm sure he is extremely traumatized. I am amazed that 37 states do not establish a minimum age. This should be handled in family court with the kid getting serious therapy. Those 37 states need to take a long hard look and this issue and fix it.

Sasha   November 19th, 2008 3:55 pm ET

I agree that he should not be prosecuted as an adult. I also believe that the cops get ahead of themselves. This child did not even have an attorney or parent present when the police were questioning him. I do not believe that he pre meditated this murder. I'm not even sure that he did it at this point.

Rex   November 19th, 2008 3:56 pm ET

I am appauled in that in this day and age of law enforcement scrutiny and practices, that any law enforcement official would compose an interogation on an 8 yr old child without benefit of an adult representative of that child; lawyer, mother etc.. And to use the excuse that the interview just turned into a confession is just that; an excuse. This happens ALL the time, when interviews turn into confessions and there is very definate protocol that must be followed and it was not.

AnnMarie   November 19th, 2008 4:16 pm ET

Everyone wounders why we have so much juveniles in this country. well I will tell you why. every time some young person commits a crime some genius decides that he's sick.

These kids in the good old usa get away with to much. If he is old enough to committ the crime he will be old enough to do the time.

He may be a child but his actions were quite grown up. He should be tried as an adult.

Jason   November 19th, 2008 4:18 pm ET

I've watched all the videos in order of the interview process and simply put, this is what the boy said happened...

1. He arrived at his home and found his father's friend Tim near the entrance wounded.
2. He went upstairs and found his father wounded as well.
3. He realized his father was "suffering" and got the gun and shot his father twice.
4. He then went downstairs and shot Tim to stop his suffering as well.

The boy admits to shooting both men because they were "suffering". They were suffering only because they were already wounded when the boy came upon them. There was an assault on both men which preceded this shooting by the boy. The police are totally missing this fact. The boy said both men were bleeding when he first saw them. They were bleeding because something happened before that boy arrived home. There's no doubt the boy shot the men, but they were already on the ground when he pulled the trigger. The kid was scared and didn't know what to do except to stop their suffering by using the gun. This was certainly a poor choice by the boy, but he thought he was doing the right thing at the time. No one knows for sure what his father taught him about guns and life and about hunting and putting wounded animals out of their suffering by shooting them dead. I bet there are some lessons this kid had learned from his dad in that regard. The boy thought he was doing the right thing. He shot the men, but he didn't understand the consequences or think about what other choices he had at the time. He acted out of instinct ... he shot them to stop their suffering because they were already badly hurt.

This boy needs help and support... he did something he thought was right but really wasn't. Why can't the police see what really happened here? Did anyone honestly think and 8-yr old can shoot 2 fully grown men on two separate floors of a house without someone being able to get away? Those men were already down and wounded before that boy pulled the trigger to stop thier "suffering". Think about it.

Dismayed   November 19th, 2008 4:18 pm ET

I am absolutely dismayed over the treatment and handling of the child. I too have my doubts at this point whether he actually committed the crime. He does reference a speeding white car earlier in the interview. I have an 8-year old son, and I just don't think he could or would be able to make up such a story about a car after going through being faced with the trauma of seeing his father dead. Additionally, ANY child who is coerced by a "kind", mom-like figures will give in eventually and tell them what they want to here. Who is consoling this child? Where is the therapy for him after such a trauma? WHY did he not like to go home until his mother got home? Bottom line is I think the police did a terrible injustice to this child. I also believe that the tape should NOT be part of public record, as the child is a juvenile. I think all around bad judgment has been exercised in this case.

Mary Reid   November 19th, 2008 4:20 pm ET

Seeing the officers altering this child's perception of what happened regarding his finding his dad and his dad's friend dead, is horrendous! I cannot imagine either of these officers having children. If they do, they know you can get a child to say anything. These officers, as we all too well know, can break adults and get them to admit to crimes they didn't commit, much less an 8 year-old child. What they have done is evil. What are we coming to as a nation that this type thing is allowed! Let that child go home with his grandparents and find the killer(s) of these men! Why waste all this time!

Shawn   November 19th, 2008 4:21 pm ET

Did anyone think to check this kids hands to see if he had recently fired a weapon? I think this whole case should be thrown under the bus! If he's not a criminal or bad person now he will be after sitting in the prison systems. Someone needs to step up and properly help this child before all is lost. Disgusting!!!

Laura   November 19th, 2008 4:28 pm ET

Rex – I totally agree. When questioning an adult that adult is read their rights. You can't do that with an 8-year-old so they should have waited and gotten an adult whose job would be to look out for the best interest of that child. I'm sure they could have come up with a Guardian Ad Litem pretty quickly or something like it.

Liz   November 19th, 2008 4:29 pm ET

I went and got out my now grown son's pictures at the age of 8 and looked at their sweet faces. They would have told me the moon was made of cheese if I wanted to hear it that way. Whatever happened in the house of the 8 year old boy needs to be put into question here. The police need to step back!!! If this was THEIR own son, would the manner of questioning have been the same? I don't think so!! Shame on those adults!! They are SUPPOSED to PROTECT children, not put them on the National News!!! Whatever happened to this child BEFORE the shooting needs to be looked into! I certainly hope someone will intervine for this poor boy!

A mom   November 19th, 2008 4:33 pm ET

Agreed. And I don't think for one minute that this child actually killed the two men. I think his initial story is true: that he came home to find them dead. I have an 8 year old son and can attest to the fact that children that age will "confess" to things they haven't done when they feel cornered. My son has "confessed" to things he hasn't done just because he wanted the uncomfortable questioning to end. And I have no doubt that this poor little boy did the same thing. Shame on the investigators for handling this so poorly.

DAvid Jordan   November 19th, 2008 4:35 pm ET

can anyone tell me why they are so quick to charger an 8 yr old as an adult. and the whore in Fl is "to young " to go to prison

robin   November 19th, 2008 4:37 pm ET


Everything you say is great except for your idiotic conclusion. One, you have no idea whether this child was "angry" or "confused" – you only have the word of corrupt cops on that. Two, the "real issue" is absolutely not the presence of firearms or "Arizona's lax gun laws" but the horrific abuse of police authority. These cops ought to be fired outright for their reckless disregard for the laws of due process, their ignorance of Police Conduct 101, and their complete lack of basic human kindness and common sense. So too should their immediate supervisors and the chief of police; they are equally culpable for this ridiculous state of affairs.

Jen   November 19th, 2008 4:51 pm ET

Not try this kid for what he did? Give me a break. This person shot his father once, then shot him again. He then shot the boarder twice. After shooting his father once, he could have called 911 and his father may be alive. To not try a child based on age is absurd. Look how many serial killers showed signs of extreme violence towards others or animals as children. Maybe had they been caught & prosecuted, the others would be alive today. An 8 year old child definately knows that shooting someone is wrong. To shoot someone twice is appalling. I say try him as an adult. He makes adult decisions, he should take adult consequences.

Karen   November 19th, 2008 4:53 pm ET

Something had to happen to that little boy for him to shoot his father. It may have been something terrible that he has blocked out of his mind. He needs help not put away for the rest of his life and treat like and adult.....HE IS NOT AN ADULT HE IS JUST A BABY WITH SOMETHING SCARY INSIDE......kj

renee   November 19th, 2008 5:02 pm ET

I thinkthis kid needs to be responsible for his actions no matter what the laws are. Most children understand right from wrong well before his age. He should not be treated as an adult but he does need to be punished. We can not have kids under 10 running around shooting people with no repercussions. That is ridiculous.

Karen Hanks   November 19th, 2008 5:05 pm ET

100% in agreement with Rex...appauled & disturbed. No matter how small this police department is there is absolutely no excuse for what they have done and these 2 female officers actions should not be overlooked or excused. This story is so heartbreaken. Protocol was not followed and this is the problem with our police department, they feel they are above the law and put themselves on the same level as God Almighty. The one thing they to do good was to put themselves in a position where viewers such as myself can express the outrage of this story. Continue to keep viewers posted on this child.

Karen Hanks   November 19th, 2008 5:06 pm ET

100% in agreement with Rex...appauled & disturbed. No matter how small this police department is there is absolutely no excuse for what they have done and these 2 female officers actions should not be overlooked or excused. This story is so heartbreaken. Protocol was not followed and this is the problem with our police department, they feel they are above the law and put themselves on the same level as God Almighty. The one thing they to do good was to put themselves in a position where viewers such as myself can express the outrage of this story. Continue to keep viewers posted on this child.

Sandy   November 19th, 2008 5:17 pm ET

I wonder if he did shoot them if there was more going on. What if this child is hiding something. What if he was being assaulted, molested or abused by these men??

Lisa   November 19th, 2008 5:18 pm ET

This poor kid. Let him grieve. I was a child advocate for years. Charging an 8 year old with murder is absurd.

Ashlee   November 19th, 2008 5:51 pm ET

I think that this a very sad and bizzare case. If the little boy did commit the murders then he obviously has serious problems. I do not think he should be let off the hook just because of his age. I think that he needs serious psychological help. This is sad because of his age, but we have to remember that all killers were once children and his age should not blind the act that was committed.

Dee   November 19th, 2008 5:51 pm ET

WHERE are the child advocates? This poor child has been abandoned by society.

Ayana Sacramento, Ca   November 19th, 2008 6:00 pm ET

Am I the only one that believe that 8 year old should pay for his crimes. I have a 4 year old she she knows right from wrong. You are not going to tell me that an eight year old who was thought old enough by his own father to get a rifle, but not old enough to know that shooting people is wrong?

Every situation is different. I don't think there should be age limits. We all 'grow – up' at different stages too! That's all this country need are a bunch of bad evil children running around killing people and getting away with it until they are 18.

Maybe we should focus on better parenting! The solution is better than the cure!

Jeep   November 19th, 2008 6:04 pm ET

I didn't see the whole tape, but I did see a portion where the officers did seem to be leading him. I understand that St. John's is a small town. That leads to the assumption that this type of thing probably doesn't happen much there...therefore, the police force isn't likely to know how to handle a case like this properly. It sounds like the boy's attorney may have a good head on his shoulders. I'd have to say that after listening to the video "confession" I'm not at all convinced that the boy did it. Then again, I don't have all the information...did they test for gunpowder residue? Was his gun the murder weapon? Is there other evidence to point to him?

I hope you guys will stay on top of this case and not let this little boy be mishandled and mistreated by people who obviously don't know what they're doing. Why in the world would they release that video tape? It only seems to have hurt their case. If you have a Mayberry style police force and you get in over your head, ask for assistance from people who know what they're doing. There's no shame in that...there's only shame in not asking for help and screwing it up.

mrrogers   November 19th, 2008 6:05 pm ET

i ll bet the confession gets thrown out. even here in az we got a few laws left. the boy should have been left alone till an attorney or parent could be there.if a juvenile judge finds him guilty i would expect him to be locked up in juvenile detention till of legal age and tried as an adult as some have indicated is the practice in matters of this kind.ive watched 2 different versions of the tape in one he says he shoots his dad in the other he said the door is open and a truck is driving off as he gets home.
if anything theres enough doubt with all his statements to investigate much more.

Alycia   November 19th, 2008 6:14 pm ET

I don't understand why everyone is coddling this kid. He's 8 and he killed two people! Everyone is acting like, oh he's only 8 the police were scaring him. BS. He was 8, got mad and killed two adults. They need to find exactly why he did that and he needs to be appropriately punished for it. For all we know, he's a sociopath that happened to be caught early. I'll reserve my sympathy for the victims.

Holly   November 19th, 2008 6:22 pm ET

If this eight year old child can be taught to use a gun and then plan a murder , I don't think he is your average eight year old . If he is capable of such violence at such a young age think about what he may be capable of in the future . Prosecuted or not , he should be in some kind of situation where he's is not with the general public . The mindset not the physical size needs to be closely paid attention to here .

Ronda   November 19th, 2008 6:31 pm ET

This is outrageous! He is 8 yrs old. I have a son that is 8 yrs old. We have taught gun safety at our home. However, the thought of an 8 yr old really being able to plot out a murder! NO WAY! The police should be investigated and held accountable for treating this child in the manner in which they did during the questioning. If he can't pay for an attorney...where is the DA?? Isn't that what we pay taxes for! Placing this child in juvenile is teaching him to be a criminal. This child needs love! He needs emotional help to deal with what has happened! I know he will grow to be a good person for society if the correct treatment is given. But placing a child in jail and treating him this way is only turning him into a hardened criminal for future generations! What is wrong with our country and out lawmakers??? Please people speak up and help this child! Yes he may have pulled the trigger, but he is such an innocent breaks my heart! We as society must stop our law enforcement/government from making criminals out of innocent kids!

barbara   November 19th, 2008 6:32 pm ET

i also am angry at this police interrogation..its just not right..Do we really know the whole truth...i think not...he should never have been put through this without another adult present with him...we would give that right to an adult if he or she were a suspect...this boy needs help..and a thorough investigation should be followed the right way.

lcwd   November 19th, 2008 6:46 pm ET

i do agree that a parent or attorney should have been present. however im sure at 8 years of age he knew right from wrong, this could have been another columbine kid in the making, who knows what was really going through his mind

Otto   November 19th, 2008 6:49 pm ET

This boy was severely sexually abused by his father and the live-in
and his mother was ignoring this situation alltogether, so the boy
had no one to turn to for any help. So in utter desperation he used the gun his dad and shown him and had used at times to kill both of the abusers.
The investigations have totally ignored this cause and dealt only with ridiculous circumstabnces. The charges should be dismissed because ofnspychological grounds.

Orr   November 19th, 2008 6:51 pm ET

A thorough investigation by an outside agency is required, period! The protocol in handling this case requires an extra look.

eliza   November 19th, 2008 6:58 pm ET

I'm. of course, concerned, if the child did this, but I'm MORE concerned over what happens to an 8 yr. old. We CERTAINLY can't put him in prison w/common thugs. If THAT were the decision, why not shoot him instead of torturing his existence? W/released tapes of interrogation w/no representation, then after 4 hrs., a so-called "confession," HOW can this even hold its head up in ANY court? WHAT does this country truly represent?

Anna   November 19th, 2008 6:59 pm ET

I am disgusted and appalled by the actions of the police officers. What I find most disturbing is this, that in the beginning of the interrogation he tells of how he found his father and roomate dead. How he cried for 30 minutes. But not once did the officers offer any emphaty, but instead questioned the vailidity of this part of the story. Isn't this strange? I almost got the impression they already were under the assumption he was guilty and did not believe his statement from the beginning and instead began to ask leading questions. My heart is sickened on how he actually might have actually found his father and roomate dead and now he sits in a jail cell. How traumatizing. This interrogation was way out of line. This needs to be thrown out...

Dave Smith   November 19th, 2008 7:00 pm ET

The real issue in this case, at this point, is two men are dead. Would you feel different if the killings were committed with a knife, a hammer, a car or some other weapon? Or even to a family member?

carol clark   November 19th, 2008 7:06 pm ET

Somebody please help this child! I have been thinking about and praying for this poor baby since I first read about the story. This is so disturbing that I can't believe our country, as Americans subject a child to such abuse at the hands of our law enforcement! They knew he should have had an adult present! There is no excuse! ANd tell me why this child would walk ten times around the block after school because he didn't want to go home whenever his father was home? HMMM. Most children run home to their parents, anxious to hug them , and tell them about their day at school! why the heck wasnt this boy running home? He was being abused. This boy needs help , he needs adults to protect him for once! I am upset with CNN reports against this boy, "he showed no remorse" well if a child doesn't have the maturity to yet know how to feel , or has ever had such feelings, how can he react? At my husband's mother's funeral, my four year old son was playing leap frog over the other gravestones. So what does that tell you? An eight year old is not going to be able to handle the whole aspecs of this. Hell its hard enough for an adult to, how can we expect anything more from this boy?
Shame on all the adults involved in this!

Shana   November 19th, 2008 7:17 pm ET

I agree that this little boy should not be prosecuted at all. I am in complete agreement that in this day and age of law enforcement scrutiny and practices, that any law enforcement official would compose an interogation on an 8 yr old child without benefit of an adult representative of that child; lawyer, mother etc.. And to use the excuse that the interview just turned into a confession is just that; an excuse. This happens ALL the time, when interviews turn into confessions and there is very definate protocol that must be followed and it was not. Even if the protocol was followed, an eight year old would not even understand it and would not be able to waive his/her rights. I believe the boy did not do it and was pressured into telling the women who interrogated him what they wanted to hear. This boy is a victim. For Heavens Sake, he just lost his father.

Ray   November 19th, 2008 7:48 pm ET

Hi Lisa,
I love your show first......I am a single dad of two boys and have been raising them since one was at least the age of 8 ( he is now 12 and and i also have one who is 15 now). there are guns in my house and bullets for each one of them, they bothe know how to load and use all of them.......I have taken my boys out and tought them the safe operation of guns (shotguns and pistols) this age they both know the dangers of firearms, and since it seems like this childs dad tought him gun control we would think this child knew what he was doing with a firearm. I know the reports so far are no abuse...but what in the world would make a kid this age shoot two men, his dad of all people, with no reason, that we know of? I think he knew what he was doing but just did'nt understand the falllout of what he did, and he still does'nt simply because of his age. He is 8 years old!!! How can you charge an 8 year old with murder as an adult?? If thats the case and they charge him with murder as an adult, why then do they say that a boy/girl who is 17 and in a realationship with a man much older is a child?? I don't understand how one crime for a minor is charged as an adult (8 years old) but another ( a teacher in a relationship with child 15-18) can be charged with being with a minor? Either way i think it's wrong, but how do you say one is a minor in one case but one is an adult in the other when they are both underage?? An 8 year old as an adult??? Come on.....that is just ridiculous. thanks and again I love your show, Ray

Rodger Harris   November 19th, 2008 7:51 pm ET

I can't believe that these morons interrogated this 8 year old kid without any kind of legal or parent present. I think everyone who was involved with this interrogation should be fired immediately! Don’t any of these idiots know the law! Even if this kid did not do this around such moron adults what 8 year old kid would not cave in? This 2008 not the 1950' what is wrong with these people?

Shelly M   November 19th, 2008 7:58 pm ET

FREE the boy! All he did is give them the answer they wanted to hear.

Dee   November 19th, 2008 8:00 pm ET

The kid was coerced...he said in the beginning that he'd found his father's body, then when they began letting him know they wanted to admit he did it, he told them what they wanted to hear. These guys are either idiots or they don't have kids.

Ted   November 19th, 2008 8:00 pm ET

I am Australian. Here, a child under 10 cannot be prosecuted, and a child between 10 and 14 is assumed too immature to be prosecuted unless proven otherwise.
I agree that it is staggering that so many places have no minimum age for prosecution, especially with the enormous amount of guns accessible to children and teens. Have lawmakers completely avoided thinking about guns laws in relation to children or are they, for some unimaginable reason, refusing to do anything about it? Either way they are committing a terrible crime against their own people.

Tracy   November 19th, 2008 8:31 pm ET

What has happened to the world we live in? An 8 yr. old child murders two people and the parent and the police are to blame- how absurd! This is what's wrong with our society today- noone wants to take responsibility for their own actions. This child is a cold-blooded killer. He knew what he was doing when he took that gun and murdered those two people. Just because other countries are stuck on stupid doesn't mean that we have to be. When I was 8, I knew right from wrong. I knew that it was wrong to cheat, lie, steal, kill, etc. so that to say that children have no concept of morality is insulting. Most of this stuff, my parents had taught me by age 5. Now, should this child be put in jail, no, I don't think so, but the facts are he is a murderer, and he needs to face the consequences of his actions. I don't understand how any rational and sane person can advocate that he should just be set free. Then he'll grow up thinking – "hey I can kill two people and it's ok." For those of you who want him to be released, you'll then have to answer for him when he kills someone else when he gets older which tends to be the case with so many repeat offenders. Something is definitely wrong with this child and he needs help, so to say that "he should be released" is ridiculous as he is a danger to society in his current mental state.

Alex   November 19th, 2008 9:03 pm ET

Absolutely preposterous. This is yet another example of how far off base the criminal justice system is in this country. What the police did in this case is so unprofessional, immoral, inhumane and misguided that they themselves should be subject to prosecution and ultimately incarceration. I think it's great how most of the countries that Americans like to look down on actually treat their citizens with more decency and humanity than we (apparently) afford our preteenagers. Just thinking about this makes me deeply embarrassed to be an American. What a complete disgrace. I totally agree with Ms. Bloom in that this country needs widespread, dramatic changes to our justice system...if we want to claim any moral high ground, that is.

ski2xs   November 19th, 2008 9:08 pm ET

Bloom. . . 100% agree with you on many points. But please don't turn this into some soap box on 2nd amendment rights. Thats flat out disrespectful and yellow journalism. Fight your stance on that issue in a more appropriate setting. You know as well as I do that 100's of 1000's of more violent crimes involving youth are committed without firearms.

As you said – "Are we so afraid to address the real issue that we’d prosecute a little boy"

Deal with curing the cronic proplem, not just treating the symptoms of the underlying cause.

Jon A. McKee   November 19th, 2008 9:15 pm ET

So what do you suggest we do – spank him and tell him not to murder anymore? That is exactly what is wrong with our justice system. We worry more about the offender and less about the victim. As far as the police, they can't win for losing. Some bleeding heart lawyer will do all they can to get the perp off the hook so they can do it again. In this case when he grows up.

L Williams   November 19th, 2008 9:38 pm ET

Is it possible that this 8 year old boy saw something that disturbed him before shooting his Dad and the other guy??

I wonder about that?? What would make him do that?? Did he possibly walk in on something that made him snap?? I think you all may know where I am going with this....

Girard Bucello   November 19th, 2008 9:47 pm ET

The way I see it, the fact that he wasn't read Miranda rights (unless I'm wrong) means that he must be set free, regardless of wether or not he actually committed a crime. All persons under arrest must be advised of their rights. Wether you're an eight-year-old kid or an eighty-year-old senator, you MUST be read these rights before answering questions.

Mike S.   November 19th, 2008 10:07 pm ET

I agree that this case has been handled badly and that an eight-year-old shouldn't be prosecuted as an adult. The last paragraph in this article, however, completed negated your argument in my eyes. Gun laws have nothing – NOTHING – to do with this case. If this eight-year-old had stabbed his father and family friend with a butcher knife, you'd not be focused on "tougher kitchenware laws."

The story here is the handling of a case with a very young child. Don't turn it into something it's not.

Judi Wolf   November 19th, 2008 10:13 pm ET

Is there anyone investigating who it was that left a loaded gun so accessible to a young child? Whoever that might be should be the one under arrest if he is not dead.
When will people learn that loaded accessible guns in a home where children reside is trouble waiting to happen?

Tre   November 19th, 2008 10:14 pm ET

having watched the tape (or what clips of it I've seen on I have yet to see where he admits to shooting his father's tenant, Tim. Nor, does he admit to the first shot that killed his father, he said that he shot him so he wouldn't suffer, and that I'm sure is very plausible. Though, when the other officer asks him, "what happened to your dad?" and he says that he doesn't know, perhaps he really doesn't know. Maybe Tim shot his father, and the boy shot Tim in defense, and does know that he shot his father once again to stop him from suffering, but we don't have a complete story here. It's unfair for this boy to be charged with a double murder before any of the facts are in for one, but for this EIGHT YEAR OLD BOY to be charged. I'm not saying that any of us were inept to the point that we didn't know that a gun could kill, but still children shouldn't be culpable for actions they commit before their cognitive skills are fully developed. I agree completely that this interrogation and case have been rushed. I hope that whatever the outcome that this kid is taken care of, he doesn't need incarceration, he needs THERAPY..LOTS AND LOTS OF THERAPY (whether he did it or not). I lose more and more respect for law enforcement every day with these bad apples in the force. Sorry good-cops (if you exist), but we're waiting for the rest of your colleagues to step up to the plate.

lotusjani   November 19th, 2008 10:15 pm ET

No, let this child go free. It's clear the police officers put words in his mouth, for God's sake, he is only eight years old! The kid was without a parent, a tutor, an attorney, a social worker, somebody! The police is eager to close their cases without any regards to innocence or not guilt. What are they thinking these two women officers? They also lied to the kid promising him they would also tell the truth, so why not tell it now and confess these two officers got ahead of themselves? Come on!

fred   November 19th, 2008 10:17 pm ET

He didn’t have a parent present to represent them because he KILLED them he should be tried as an adult if he killed someone he didn’t even care that he COMITTED MURDER

fred   November 19th, 2008 10:19 pm ET

Most of the civilized world recognizes that children are not criminally responsible for their actions until they reach a level of maturity such that they can clearly distinguish between right and wrong. IS KILLING MY DAD RIGHT OR WRONG?

Kimberly   November 19th, 2008 10:33 pm ET

I am absolutely disgusted by the actions of the St Johns Police Department. The only blessing is that those blundering idiots were stupid enough to videotape this obviously coerced confession. They should lose their jobs. I am terrified for this young boy. He should be released at once....we as free citizens should flood the district attorneys office and the police department with letters demanding the boy be set free and the blundering morons in the video be fired. It is appalling that this can happen in the USA. I have a 7 year old son and I would fight to the death to protect him from what is happening to this poor little boy right now.

Nicole   November 19th, 2008 10:42 pm ET

This is absolute insanity. We are talking an 8 year old child here that is most likely traumatized and scared to death. Then you have him in a room ALONE with authority figures questioning him and LEADING his answers along! No miranda rights were read to this child either!! If they want to prosecute this child as a juvenile and believe that he is old enough to comprehend all this, why wouldn't they read him his rights? Oh that's right; probably because they don't think he'll understand them. So, even if he did by chance do it; if they don't think he can comprehend his rights, what makes them think he can comprehend what he did? Hello peope...8 YEARS OLD. Outrageous!!

eric   November 19th, 2008 11:12 pm ET

Its too bad that prosecution is even being considered in this case. Clearly this CHILD is in dire need of social services and extensive therapy. Locking the child up or trying him as an adult is counter productive! He would never stand a chance to redeem himself in life, if his childhood is behind bars. He will end up being sexually assaulted and most likely will come out as a hardened criminal...lets get him the help he needs and salvage what childhood he has left. With the right help he could turn out to be an upstanding citizen some day.

Michel   November 19th, 2008 11:19 pm ET

That 37 American states treat children more severely that even Pakistan, Myanmar and Sudan, states that at least have a minimum age of criminal responsibility, shows already that something is very wrong about the justice system in the United States. That an 8-year old boy was 'interviewed' by two police officers without any parent or legal representative present and not even read his rights is shocking. Worse, this taped 'confession' is then released to the public and can now be seen by all. How is all this supposed to serve true justice? Any decent judge could and should throw this case out of court as soon as these bungling cops and prosecutors in Arizona show up and try to put this boy on trial. If this boy ends up being put on trial, or worse is found guilty despite all the illegalities committed by the police in this case, then Arizona and, by extension the United States, would need to bow its head in shame.

TexanForever   November 19th, 2008 11:47 pm ET

People, hold your children accountable!! The apple does not fall far from the tree!

Braden Pollock   November 19th, 2008 11:49 pm ET

This is just crazy. He was asked leading questions that he answered in the affirmative simply to appease authority. He's 8 years old, for cryin' out loud! He wasn't sure if he shot the gun. Are his finger prints on the gun? Did he hear a loud bang? If the gun was any bigger than a .22 caliber, it probably would have kicked out of his little hand. Did that happen? If so, his little hand would be sore. Did anyone ask him that question? This whole thing is nuts!

nick   November 19th, 2008 11:53 pm ET

he knew what he was doing, it was pre meditated, he should be tried as an adult and be in prison for life.

Tamara   November 20th, 2008 12:09 am ET

I'm in total agreement that we should not prosecute an eight-year-old for this crime (or any crime), whether or not he committed it. If he did (and this I highly doubt at this point) then he needs the adults in this society to step up and help him heal from this rather than lock him away. The way this entire case has been handled is a travesty of justice. I live in AZ and I'm continuously appalled at the actions of our law enforcement in this state.

Elizabeth   November 20th, 2008 12:14 am ET

I think the child should be charged. I belive children at age eight should know that killing is wrong. The child said he knew what he had done. If we keep letting children off the hook, what would the future become. Children are getting more violent towards other children because of us not being tough on them. If this child gets free then that could engourage other children to kill.

Connie   November 20th, 2008 12:15 am ET

One thing people are not thinking about is that how can an 8-year-old boy overtake 2 grown men with a gun. Even if he shot one of them accidently, for sure the other man could have contained the child. This is absurd to prosecute an 8-year-old for this crime. The police were out of line to question him and clearly lead him down this path to confession. Even during his so-called confession he says "I think" through most of it, when at the first of the interview he does not hesitate and tells the same story 5 or 6 times with the same details. It wasn't until the female officer suggested that he shot his father that he confessed. Outrageous. Our hearts go out to this little boy and we pray that some one has sense to let him go.

Ajane   November 20th, 2008 12:22 am ET

I have a 9 year old boy, and watching this poor little guy be interrogated nearly brought me to tears. There is no question in my mind that he is innocent. Now he has not only been traumatized by seeing his father and father's friend after having been shot, but he is locked away from his mother, and everything he knows. I keep checking the news to see how long it will take for these idiots to let this little guy go home for good, and praying he will be ok when he finally does.

Steve   November 20th, 2008 12:30 am ET

It's a sad situation for the little boy. For the legal system to work, it needs to be blind to race, gender, age, color of hair, etc. If there is enough evidence, the boy should be tried as an adult. As the saying goes, "You can't get away with murder."

Sara   November 20th, 2008 12:48 am ET

I agree with Bloom. The boy is too young to take responsibility for his actions. He is a product of his environment. His father taught him how to use guns, and the guns were obviously left available for him to access. This was obviously the unfortunate outcome of bad choices in parenting. I keep hearing that this was a premeditated occurrence. Even if it was premeditated, the child was taught how to use them and had access to them. We still aren't certain whether or not their was some sort of physical/emotional abuse going on in the home and whether or not the child was acting out of self defense. After seeing the interviews, it is evident that the boy is scared and confused. It is unfair to rule anything, such as abuse, out right now, as his accounts seem to be inaccurate due to the confusion. Nevertheless, the boy is only 8 years old-he could have no real idea what the consequences of his actions would be at this age-I believe he should not be tried and we, as a society, should try to preserve as much innocence that is left as we can in this little boy.

jason abel   November 20th, 2008 1:29 am ET

that just shows what are leagal system has come to trying to proicute an eight year old boy

jason abel   November 20th, 2008 1:31 am ET

that just shows you what are leagal system has come down to trying to procicute an eight year old boy

sheral   November 20th, 2008 1:54 am ET

first and foremost you are missing the point, he killed two people and that is not okay at any age and regardless of his age we learn right from wrong by the time we enter kindergarten.......i dont beleive he should be tried as an adult but i do beleive he should be locked yp somewhere so that he can get help and he can not do this again

FB   November 20th, 2008 4:07 am ET

I agree with Bloom. Furthermore, there need to be stringent laws that make it illegal for authorities to question children without a legal guardian present, regardless of whether the child's attorney is present. I've read too many cases where police warp the testimony of adults to make it appear they are confessing.

I listened to the clip of thee boy's confession, and I'm concerned. Confession or not, he should not be considered a suspect so early in the case. It's altogether likely that he had nothing to do with the killing, and unless a court finds him guilty, he needs to be given the benefit of the doubt. Many innocent people have been convicted with false confessions, and I've read many cases where police use faulty evidence. I feel too many members of the media have already made the assumption the child is guilty when we don't really know that for sure. It is the court's job to find guilt, and until then we cannot assume he is guilty. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?"

Leslie E. Allen   November 20th, 2008 4:16 am ET


I was sexually, emotionally, mentally, and physically abused as a young child. What caught my attention was this... this CHILD, acted just as I did, I did not ever want to go back home. He waited until he thought that his mother was home. He was waiting, because he knew that he was going into an unsafe enviornment.

I would sit on a bench and cry everyday before I went home from school. The kids called me, "Watermelon Head."

I would ask all adults to use your common sense.


Carrie   November 20th, 2008 4:29 am ET

I am apalled by this news report and the actions of the police team. The little boy told his story and then they got him to change it – led him on. I don't believe it at all. I don't believe that he did this. He doesn't understand what they were making him say. It is ridiculous. He admitted to nothing – he simply told a thestory that the cops were trying to hear. Who really thinks this kid shot his dad? Only those who think that an 8-year old can not be influenced by the leading questions he was given. Were his fingerprints on the gun? I am sure he didnt clean it up. If there is, then tell us. I have never never never been more mortified by a police agency than I am now. We have seen interviews with child killers before – he does not act like any of them.

TeeTee   November 20th, 2008 4:33 am ET

Lets' Pray The Lord Will Show The Truth and Heal This Boys Heart & Soul...


TeeTee   November 20th, 2008 4:35 am ET

Bless This Child!! and Forgive Those Who Oppose!!

Anne in Port Charlotte, Fl   November 20th, 2008 6:02 am ET

Yes, this child should be prosecuted, but as a juvenile which is what he is, and should be sentenced to juvenile detention until he is 18 years old. If he did not know what he was doing, then he needs to be taught what he did. The boy committed 2 murders for heaven's sakes!

No child should be allowed access to a gun for hunting or any other purpose, by his father or anyone else,before the age of 12, that should be just plain common sense. Since the father used no common sense he is partly responsible for his own death and that of his friend. However, there should be laws enacted preventing the training and use of a gun by a child prior to the age of 12, and should be licensed for its' use, but only after the child has been trained in the use of a weapon.

It is unrealistic that there was no lock on the gun, and no measures to keep this lethal weapon out of the hands of an 8 year old. What in the world was this father thinking in allowing his young son to go hunting at all before he turned at least 12 years old, much less allowing him access to a gun!

steve pratt   November 20th, 2008 6:32 am ET

Although I am from England I believe now that any attempt to secure a conviction will be nearly impossible . Was the interview done in the presence of his Mother , read his maranda rights , I believe it is the term in the USA ?

Is he of age of criminal responsiblity ?

F Lee Bailey , Barry Sheck and the late great Gerry Cocheran would have a field day on this one

Dee   November 20th, 2008 7:41 am ET

This case has brought tears to my eyes many times. I wish I could be there to hold that little boy and tell him everything will be alright. He must be so scared. I definitely agree that the issue of gun safety and locks should be looked at. This child should not be sent into any kind of adult system. A frightened little boy and the things that law enforcement are considering doing is a travesty. Why haven’t we heard anything about the boy’s mother? Where is she during all of this? Yes, as soon as the boy said he shot them, the questioning should have stopped and his mother or lawyer or someone else should have been brought in. God please keep this little boy safe. I see him sitting in this big chair with his legs crossed and it reminds me of my own beautiful little 9 year old son.

Kelly   November 20th, 2008 8:26 am ET

The little boy needs a good lawyer to take his case.Someone needs to step up and protect this kid!

Rob   November 20th, 2008 8:40 am ET

First and foremost i agree that he should not be prosecuted at all. The mere notion that in a country where you can't drive until u turn sixteen, smoke before the age of eighteen, or drink a beer while under the age of twenty one, we could feel any sense of justice from trying an 8yr old speaks volumes to how far out of touch with basic human reason and compassion some of us have become. I mention all of these age restrictions and omit others (18 to vote) because the justification for these age requirements is a physically underdeveloped brain thats more prone to addiction and an emotionally underdeveloped sense of consequence for rash actions. I am just at a loss for how, if these social laws are so widely accepted, a debate can even exist over punishment or HELP being the best option for this child. As for the police confession, obtained by a woman to provide a more maternal sense of trust for the boy, SHAME ON YOU !!

Jen   November 20th, 2008 8:55 am ET

This is a little boy he should not be prosecuted, no one knows yet what actually happened. But there were loaded guns around and his dad was taking him out to shoot guns, he's a little boy that should of never happend. This little boy has got to be tramitized, I just am sickened by the way they have treated this case so far – my heart goes out to the little boy, those 2 police officers who interviewed the little boy should be ashamed of themselves. Where was this boy's Mother, where is his Step Mother, where are his Attorney? Is anyone questioning the Step Mother? They were only married for 2 years, she doesn't want custody of the little boy that seems strange to me. I would love him as my own, so far the Mother nor the Step Mother want full custody of this child, I don't understand that at all.

Cindy   November 20th, 2008 9:03 am ET

I agree that the 8 year old boy should not be incarcerated. If the boy did do it, I have real doubt that he could have understood the consequences of his actions and the right and wrongness of it. Either way this turns out, it is very tragic. You have an 8 year old whose father just died, he is sitting in a dentention facility just after losing his father, being accused of killing him. I find it really hard to believe that the boy could even understand what is going on. Why is he locked up? Are they afraid he is going to buy a plane ticket and jump the country? I am curious why the mother would leave her son right after. Where is this little boy's support? Grandparents, aunts, or uncles? Doesn't he have anyone besides a mother who would leave him?

Linda   November 20th, 2008 9:04 am ET

I completely agree. It is ridiculous to be prosecuting this child, even if he did it, which I highly doubt. If a parent left a child in a juvenile detention center-like environment, surrounded by violent teenagers, they would be at risk of losing custody of that child for inadequate supervision and care – why is it even considered to hold an eight-year-old in a facility like that? This is absolutely amoral and disgusting.

Brandi   November 20th, 2008 9:55 am ET

Can't this child's confession be thrown out because of the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine? (He was not read his Miranda rights and there was not a parent or guardian present at the time of questioning to o give consent.)

Jennifer   November 20th, 2008 9:58 am ET

I agree – there NEEDS TO BE a minimum age IN ALL STATES. Too often kids are thrown to the wolves without proper due course – no parent was present at his "interview"? No lawyer? Can an 8 year old understand that his Miranda rights? I seriously doubt it . . . this was handled very inappropriately.

Pat   November 20th, 2008 10:10 am ET

I seen the latest interview with the child, and he says now that his dad was lying there bleeding. He nudged him and he was alive. The the child also seen someone leaving in a car. This boy was taught about guns from his daddy, an avid hunter. Well what does a hunter do to his game, he nudges it with his gun but if the animal is alive and in pain he has to end it's misery. Could this have been in the childs mind, his dad was in pain and he did exactly what his daddy taught him, sad as it may be. Unfortunantly the police don't know how to handle a situations like this, it's new to them. They need to be educated to not "jump the gun" in a case like this.

Judi Daniels   November 20th, 2008 10:15 am ET

This is the most outrageous story I have ever read and I think someone needs to step in to protect this child right away. I read this story and watch the news in horror as I see these two police officers change this child's story from coming home to find his father dead to telling him they know he did it. Where is the justice in all of this? Where is his family? I just heard that his mother and step-mother refused to take him yet he can go home for 48 hours for Thanksgiving. This child is the victim here and someone please do something. As a mother my heart breaks that this is happening in our country! Get him away from the police's influence! Why is a judge not seeing this and ruling on this right away?

cathy   November 20th, 2008 10:24 am ET

Are you kidding me? A child pychologist hadn't been called in while this had happened or even a social worker, even the child's principal could have been there. The kid's care giver had just been killed. If anything, the police should be careful about not creating more trauma for the child. Then worry whether or not if a crime was caused by the child. Good luck on building up you reputation after this one. {By the way, using, women as interagators is borderline entrapment in my eyes. OK SWEETIES.}

Jen   November 20th, 2008 10:30 am ET

This case is absurd. I am appalled at the conduct of this police department and hope there are serious consequences for those officers involved with the interrogation of this poor child. I, for one, do NOT think he killed his father or the roommate. I agree, in that he eventually ended up confessing because he was coerced into the confession. They got the answer they wanted by manipulating a traumatized child and I believe they should have to answer to someone. If this child is charged with these murders, I will surely have lost all faith in our judicial system. This child should be set free to be with his mother and should be afforded mental health services to assist him with recovering not only from the trauma and devastation of what he saw when he innocently walked into his home, but also from the additional trauma these officers caused him during the interrogation. Assumably, it will take this poor child a very long time to recover from this and someone within the police department should be held accountable.

T Park   November 20th, 2008 10:38 am ET

HE IS 8 YRS OLD! This is traumatic for anyone much less an 8 yr old who is obviously been exposed to guns and hunting and the theory of not letting an animal suffer at WAY too early an age. These cops and their interrogation procedures. All of that should be out of the window. I could convince my 6 yr old he saw a dinosaur if I led him in the right direction. This has completely crossed the line and this child needs to be out of JAIL with people that care about him and can give him the treatment he needs for PTSD which he clearly has or will have.

Crystal   November 20th, 2008 10:44 am ET

This story when i heard it just made me feel so sad for this little boy. I understand that the police are basically trying to sabbatoge this kid..and i said it a "kid" he hasnt even been read his rights, nor was there any ADULT present, ... My big question is.. "where was the mother the whole time of the little boy.. while being taken to the station much less at the house!!!! The police know they just actually messed the case up by not doing what there job requires!!!!!!

toughen up   November 20th, 2008 10:51 am ET

Cops, prosecutors, CPS caseworkers all need to be de-Nazified in order to restore dignity to their profession. They are always looking to win instead of looking to solve the case.

alshane   November 20th, 2008 10:54 am ET

i cant see how they acutlly belive that he could even shoot the supposed gun he's 8 years old . a 22 rifle is very hard to shoot and on top of that he would have to reload after every shot so your telling me a 8 year old can aim and shoot a 22 rifle and reload 4 times and kiil two men with 4 bullets pss

NYPrincessTt   November 20th, 2008 10:55 am ET

Is an eight year old even capable of premeditating a murder? I mean, I know there are some smart, coniving adolescents out there, but does an 8 year old child, developmentally speaking, posess the cognitive ability to complete the process of premeditating murder? And what about his initial story, about the white car speeding away and him going into the house and finding his dad and friend already shot? Maybe they were already shot and he shot his dad again, as he said, to stop his suffering. Is this possible? Is it possible that some criminal shot the dad and the friend and left the gun at the scene, the boy came in after like he originally said, saw the gun, and tried to put dad out of his misery? And is there an age limit on Miranda rights? If the police felt he wouldn't understand them (Miranda rights) how can they believe he premeditated a murder? Something just doesn't make sense here!

Mocha   November 20th, 2008 11:00 am ET

I can't believe that this has went down like this. First of all when the child began to speak he stated that when he first arrived inside the house the fathers friend was on the floor. He then stated that he went upstairs and found his father on the floor. He didn't say anything about shooting them himself until the untrained, unprofessional, stupid officers queastioned him in a way to make him feel asthough he did these things. They seemed asthough they were assurring him that the shootings was alright as long as he said he did it. I am just so MADD that I can scream and I dont even know this little child. My heart is hurting so much for him!! Would someone in his family please stand up for this child and show him that someone LOVES him!!!!!

Marc Trepanier   November 20th, 2008 11:04 am ET

An 8 year old child has no criminal responsibility. His father however who let the child near guns has all kinds of responsibilitites and he paid the price fo it. End of story.

anita nail   November 20th, 2008 11:14 am ET

i dont think he should be prosecuted at all, young kids like that cant tell the difference between tv shows and real life, i hope they dont prosecute him, get him help instead, and it should be a law that no minor child should be questioned without the consent of a parent and they should have a lawyer present, kids are too easily manipulated

janet   November 20th, 2008 11:15 am ET

Lisa, thank you and other prominent defense attorneys for bringing this child's life-altering situation to the attention of many. Hopefully proper help will come this 8 year old's way. It would be in the best interest of everyone morally and professionally involved in this case to begin handling this tragic event with reasonable measures for the child to get legally protected and much needed counseling so he can get through these next few weeks. Plese note on a reality front, he has lost his dad and was not able to attend his funeral for natural closure. Only correct facts can bring the correct course(s) of actions. I can't believe all that has happened in his little 8 yr old life these past 2 weeks, who has such a tragic afternoon permantly etched in his mind. Thank you for your attention to this 8 year old boy's legal plight. As parents, my husband and I have been heart-broken and "dumb-founded" all at the same time with this child's situation.

EVALYN   November 20th, 2008 11:16 am ET


Levi   November 20th, 2008 11:17 am ET

If you watched his video taped confession he had a flat affect, and showed no sympathy or remourse. I think he is a psychopath, and if he is given a slap on the wrist, he will kill again.

There have been people looking into the relationship he had with his father. There are no signs of any sort abuse. NOTHING. The best they could come up with was that he spanked recently. Getting a spanking is not a mitigating factor, for shooting two people.

I guess every 8 year old who murders their father, because they got a spanking should just get a slap on the wrist, and the system should cuddle them?

Iris   November 20th, 2008 11:21 am ET

My experience with Arizona is that it disregards any and all attempts at reasonable boundaries and appropriate behavior. A child of 8 years old should not be allowed to be interviewed in police custody without the presence of a caring adult respresentative (ie parent/juvenile attorney/his own psychologist,.. the list goes on). The confession this 8 year old gave was made under traumatic duress. Part of trauma involves all or none thinking and also dissociation. Here is another scenario of the confession: He saw his father and his father's roommate dead(he perhaps saw the murderer) and in a child's mind he may feel responsible for not protecting them, thus his conclusion was drawn that he killed them. I still think that there is a murderer out there who has now been able to leave the blame on this 8 year old's shoulders. The child deserves to be placed in a hospital under psychiatric care until the trauma can be sorted. The father is to blame for not locking the weapon up, and the police are to be blamed for not following the appropriate prescribed course of action. Nothing will change for this little boy the fact that his father is dead- no matter who fired the shots. My experience dictates that an 8 year old child will forgive his/her parents for almost anything and will do anything to be around his/her parents.

Levi   November 20th, 2008 11:22 am ET

Oh, Lisa. I like how you say "alleged." He actually CONFESSED.

Robin   November 20th, 2008 11:37 am ET

I do not believe that this little 8 yr old boy did this. There is no way! The cops would have us believe that this little boy loaded a gun and shot his father and then RELOADED and shot his father again and then RELOADED and went downstairs and shot the other man and RELOADED and shot him again. After the first or even the second shot why would the man downstairs not rush in to see what was going on? Yeah right. The men were shot on two different floors. One upstairs and the other down stairs. They would have us believe that 2 GROWN men could not overpower an 8 yr old SMALL boy.
The boy told the cops over and over that he did not do this. And yet they (the woman) bullied him into changing his story. Which is the same thing ANY 8 yr old child would do. She should feel real proud that she bullied an 8 yr old into a false confession. Give her an award.
Free this little boy and fire that cop!!!! This is ridiculous!!!!

joanne   November 20th, 2008 11:40 am ET

Sorry, but I have to disagree with the majority on prosecuting here. I'm not getting into the interrogation means. If the child did do this then some form of punishment needs to be instilled. Psychological testing and help of course should be offered but it is not the disciplinary action. Teen gangs will be using younger and younger recruits to "get away with murder" as long as they can not be tried as an adult. You can't tell me that most children do not realize that guns kill. Absolutely should guns at home be kept with extra caution and care. Because you are angry means you get to shoot someone? Come on – it still remains that teaching, instilling, and knowing right from wrong is great deterent.

Melika   November 20th, 2008 11:46 am ET

I live in Florida and when I was 14 I was in a severe car accident. When we went to court a cop stated that he was going to charge me with perjury because I had changed what I had told him from what I said in court. My mother pointed out in front of the judge that I was a minor and this police officer questioned me before she was present so anything I said was inadmissible since I was a minor and a parent/guardian was not present when my statement was taken. Needless to say the judge told that officer that he needed to consoled with the officer that questioned me when my mother was there.

I am also a mother of a 7 yo boy. After listening to the confession on YouTube, it sounds to me that the boy was repeating something he was told to say not his own thoughts or words. I do not believe charging this boy and sending him to juvi or prison after he turns 18-21, is what needs to be done. Even if this boy did shoot these two men, which I don’t think he did, I totally think the only thing he gets is that he did something very bad not something evil. Which murder is an act of evil, any way you look at it. I concur with and would like to echo that this boy, this child, needs help. His family, mother, guardians, need to be looked at and investigated from a family court stand point and NOT a criminal one.

L. Travis   November 20th, 2008 12:00 pm ET

No person in their right mind would say there are any circumstances where an 8 yr old child could consent to sex, so how can he be held responsible for an act of murder. An 8 yr old is a child regardless of what act is. He is a victim of these actions (deaths of his father and father's friend) as much as anyone else.

Joe   November 20th, 2008 12:06 pm ET

Aside from any legal challenges to the "confession," why is everyone jumping on the bandwagon to not prosecute? Even though the goal of the juvenile justice system is different than the adult system (adult system's goal is punishment; juvenile is rehabilitation), how can we exercise control over the minor without a court proceeding? We just ask him to be good? It may not be the ideal situation, but getting him IN the system is the first step.
If he has a legal defense, there is insufficient evidence or there are other legal reasons to not hold him accountable, so be it. Let's let the system work.

Andre   November 20th, 2008 12:14 pm ET

I believe that he should be prosecuted for this heinous crime. It is clear that he planned the attack and that this was not some sort of accidental shooting. I find it hard to believe that people would agree to release someone who has committed such a crime – irrespective of the age that the crime was committed at.

Where I would agree with some of the other comments is that the child may not have received due process during interrogation. In that case I would hope that a judge would invoke the "fruit of the poisoned tree" 4th Amendment protection and bar the boy's confession (and any evidence deriving from the confession) from being used in court.

That said, if there is still enough evidence to prosecute this boy – I hope and pray that the District Attorney proceeds with this case. Premeditated homicide cannot go unpunished.

Angel   November 20th, 2008 12:35 pm ET

From what I have seen on TV and read on CCN online, I wonder why the boy walks around the block several times after school because his mother doesn't get done work until 5pm. Sounds like he doesn't want to be home alone with his father for some reason. Find out why. And start asking the mother questions. She must know something and did not look very disturbed on TV for losing her husband and wondering if her son will live a life in jail. The boy is not as emotional as he should be if he did this himself.

Sofhia   November 20th, 2008 12:36 pm ET

I think the little boy should just be kept in therapy because he maybe didnt even know what he was doing. Maybe a video game influenced him to do it. But he shouldnt be charged as an adult.

Jenifer Wiseman   November 20th, 2008 12:38 pm ET

The fact that they didn't even bother to read him his rights is enough that they shouldn't be interrogating him, especially without a lawyer or a guardian.

I'd say the little boy needs to go through a psychiatrist to find out maybe what really happened and how he felt when he picked up the gun.

The police not reading him his rights, adult or not, is enough grounds, if taken to court, to free the little boy. Without the reading of rights, everything he(the little boy) says is nullified.

Karen   November 20th, 2008 12:45 pm ET

I have been following this case every since the video tape was released of this alleged confession. First of all, what is said by "Baby Arziona" after these 2 females officers were not satisified with his statement and lured Baby Arizona into saying what they wanted to hear was "I think" & "I don't know". My question is what actions will be taken again these two female officers that took the law into their own hands? Baby Arizona has lost his father & has been taken away from his mother because an interogation that violated his rights. I am appauled & disturbed by this local one suggestion to this police deparment train your officers in a way that is not violating a persons rights!!!

Poppy   November 20th, 2008 12:52 pm ET

This is totally bananas, what that kid did is a mercy killing and the real attacker is free on the streets and no mention of anything being done to apprehend that person and have them try to make amends for destroying this kid's family. The pigs pigged it all up in usual pig fashion, and turn tables on the victim. Sick...

E Capalungan   November 20th, 2008 12:53 pm ET

Thank you for this article. It was obvious to me, watching the taped "confession", that this boy was making a false confession and that the actual killer or killers are still at large. The child originally described the scene he found when he came home and found the blood covered bodies of his father and the other man. To anyone who knows 8 year old children, it was obvious this child was telling the truth. But to our horror watching the interview, the child was then interrogated for an hour, with the two female interrogators repeatedly implying to the boy that they weren't satisfied with his answer, his answer didn't make sense, he had not told the truth and that he must now tell the "truth". They then suggested to him repeatedly that he had actually killed his father, even supplying details of the scene to paint the picture in his mind of what he had supposedly done. The poor traumatized child said, "I did?" Then he finally gave in and parroted the information back, saying "I might have shot him." etc. It was so appalling to see this highly impressionable and traumatized small boy being filled with "false memories" in this manner. Almost no 8 year old would be able to disagree with two adults questioning him in this manner, especially not if the child was tired, frightened, and alone. A child this age sees the police as his protectors and will cling to them and believe what they tell him. This child should be released to his mother or grandparents immediately and should not be charged. Why aren't police looking into the step-mother and all others who might have been in contact with either of these two men leading up to this event? Also, did the body of either man have powder residue on his hand? Even if the child had committed this crime he should not be tried as an adult.

e.b.   November 20th, 2008 1:01 pm ET

The best word to describe this certianly is APPALLING. Not only should the unethical conduct in which the CHILD was questioned cause great outrage, but also the entirety of the surrounding circumstances cause great alarm.

First of all, how did a child of 8 get a loaded gun to begin with (and i sincerely doutb that any child would know how to load a gun)? How did he know how to use it? In an article about this case, the boy shot his father twice so that (quote) "he wouldn't have to suffer." Children learn through repetition and copy-cat'ing, so where would he have learned that mentality from?

Ok. Now for my two cents reguarding the interogation.

1.) Where on earth was the child's mother? Or lawyer? Or child psychologist??
2.) When was he read is rights?
3.) Even if they were read to him, what on earth is the likelyhood that a thirdgrader would understand them or the concequences of his words?

Ultimately, he should NOT be prosecuted at all. What he and his family really need is intense rehabilitative therapy. It's a known fact that jail and juvi systems do not do the best job at creating society safe inhabitants. The impact of the child's actions will no doubt hit him hard someday when he is older and fully undstands what he has done; it is my hope that with time and counciling he will grow to be a mentally healthy man. My heart does go out to the families who lost a loved one in this tragic accident, which is what this truly was.

Pamela   November 20th, 2008 1:16 pm ET

I haven't read all of the posts made here today, but I just want to say that first of all explain to me how and 8 year old BOY can over come two grown men, let alone one, with a single shot 22 rifle?

Secondly, this reminds me an awful lot of the Stephanie Crowe case January 20, 1998, in California. Stephanie's brother 14 yr. old at the time, also wasn't merandized and was badgered with accusations and questions by the police tinsisting he killed his sister. He too was with the police for hours with no parents..They didn't even know where this boy was for hours.

Six years later in 2004 Michael now age 20, spoke in court to the jury of the man that actually did the killing( Richard Tuite). It is really shameful that such travesty takes place with our kids and they get locked up behind bars because some cop is over zealous on the job...wanting the almighty praise and recognition "They solved a crime." That's crap.

Another thing, has the stepmother of the boy accounted for her whereabouts when this took place?

jonye   November 20th, 2008 1:20 pm ET

The father is responible for his own death. He was the one who taught this child how to hunt. He was the one who told the child to kill animals to relieve them of their suffering.

We must remember how young children minds develope. Children only do what they are taught.

The police was way out of line in lying to the child to get a false confession out of him.

We are the only country that would do this to a child.

jenni huska   November 20th, 2008 1:34 pm ET

I believe the little boy accused of double murder should not be charged for something that he had no concept of, however, the people that questioned him should be charged with a lot of charges. Who do they think they are?

annie   November 20th, 2008 1:35 pm ET

I agree!! We are missing the big picture. No boy of that age should be convicted, and putting this little boy in jail! I mean have we lost our minds!!! What exactly will he learn in there? Free this young boy and get him the real help he needs!

As a mom myself, after watching the tape, i just wished i could have jumpped into the tv and just hold this little boy and hug him! I hope Az does the right thing and let him go!

KeKe   November 20th, 2008 1:55 pm ET

This is a joke, and disrespectful to the deceased families. Yes it was his own father that he murder in cold blood. He should be locked up like every other criminal no matter how young he is, and to let him go on a "Vacation" oh yeah they called it a furlong, that is ridiculous. He needs to pay for what he has done.

jenny   November 20th, 2008 1:55 pm ET

the father who had guns in the house where a little kid could reach, play and shoot with it is responsible for his own death. the kid should be with a responsible adults to raise him.
8 year old can't be responsible for his actions, he is just a baby. the people who were supposed to raise him right, didn't, and they paid the price with their own life. Oh well...

Pilar   November 20th, 2008 1:59 pm ET

I am very glad you are exposing this atrocity... when I first heard of the incident, I didn't believe the 8 year old did anything... and the Arizona police department is doing something very very wrong, which they will eventually be held accountable for. Holding that boy in a juvenile jail is point blank cruel. He hasn't been convicted, therefore, he shouldn't be in a jail, whereby he can be open to other forms of abuses. His mother or legal guardian was not present when they were questioning him. They didn't follow the law, he is a minor and has not been treated as such. He is innocent until proven guilty in our court system, so what is he doing in jail? And how can these detectives, albeit women, have the audacity to be question an impressionable minor without his mother or another adult family member present? The whole world is watching and are very well aware that they are doing an incompetant and unprofessional job handling this case. I honestly feel badly for the child and hope that this situation and the harm that it's done can be rectified very soon.

Frank   November 20th, 2008 2:11 pm ET

This kid Needs to be PUT AWAY and for a Very Long time!! He's a menace to society AND a Freakin Loose Cannon. A leopard doesn't change it's spots!!! Wake Up People!!

kate   November 20th, 2008 2:15 pm ET

Remember Encino CA after 12 hours with cops the kid said he killed his sister...he did not!!!!!!!!!
Cops should not be allowed to speak to children period ever without an attorney, phsycologist for any reason. They have one goal and it is never what is the truth; they just want to arrest some one.

Chris   November 20th, 2008 2:37 pm ET

BOTH sides have to be held accountable for their actions.

The REAL crime is that we are spending time arguing which side is in the wrong.

I have children, and even at the age of 8, they have always known the difference between right and wrong. Not to mention, they know to call the authorities in case of any emergency if I am not available to be contacted or if the situation would require them to do so. If this kid decided to act upon the teachings of his father, then the father got what he deserved. In the same lesson, gun safety should have been addressed to this kid during any lessons he was being taught about guns/hunting. Not to mention, how many times in your life have you heard about accidental shootings due to the irresponsibile keeping of arms in one's home? We must all also keep in mind that kids are being forced to grow up quick these days, and most 8 year olds today know what we knew when were learning the same things as 13 year olds.

As for the police... this is a prime example of why we as a nation have a dwindling faith in the ones chosen to 'protect and serve'. I bet if the kid understood his rights an adlut (or as an American, for that matter) they would have never proceeded to cohearse a confession out of the child. Quit looking for an easy answer and do REAL police work. You know, your JOBS!! It's not like this is a simple open and closed case, from what I can gather... and I'm not even a detective. It's a double homicide... something I would think the officials wouldn't want to take so lightly. You would think they would want to catch the REAL criminal, if there was in fact someone else there before the kid got home.

What happened to a little thing called common sense and accountability in this country???

Guy Salsburg   November 20th, 2008 2:53 pm ET

It is irresponsible that 37 of our states have no minimum age for prosecution and equally irresponsible that the federal government has not established a law setting a minimum age in which all the states must follow. As to federal crimes, no child under the age of 9 can be tried for the crime – that is per a Supreme Court ruling of over two decades ago and still enforced by the federal legal system.

Why does the USA lock up a larger percentage of it's people than any other nation on the planet? Why does the USA punish more of it's youth as adults than any other nation on the planet? And that is even though the mast majority of experts on the brains and thinking of youths as compared to the brains and thinking of adults, even here in the USA, say that children do not have the capability of understanding most right from wrong and the consequenses of their actions! Why must we be lower than the lowest third world nation in this section of law?

sharon Dettloff   November 20th, 2008 3:18 pm ET

I watched the police interrogation and all I could see is a child being led to a confession of something he did not do !!!! As the mother of 4 boys one who is 9 I know that all they want to do is please , they will tell you what they think ,will make you proud or pleased with them and if the statement he gave them was not being accepted, as it obviously wasn't , he will give them what they want . The police led him to the confession AS they call it , it was sickening they made him repeat his story even though he told them he did not do it and they did not stop until they coaxed him into telling them he did . It is a travesty what is happening to this child it seems to me an animal gets more compassion than children in this country ,the uproar over dog fights and In the election all we heard was prop 8 or prop 2 what about our kids no one mentioned them more bothered about bloody chickens !!! don't get me wrong I love animals but the children always come first above everything as a mother you feel it directly in your heart as all loving mother's do, when you watch this child. He should most definately not be put in a jail or facility !!! He should be with loving caring family or friends and I beg everyone to look into this , write to people make calls and challenge the Lawyers on this show to step up to the plate and offer defense for this kid , put their money where their mouths are and save a child and even if God forbid he did this which I truly believe he did not there is something behind it, church members vouching the dad was wonderful does not mean didly squat remember the Catholic Priests!!!! (and I am Catholic all abuse is unacceptable ) somebody save this child before the system chews him up and destroys him , 9 yr olds DO NOT kill because they got a spanking and any parent that puts a gun in a child's hand obviously has a lack of judgement so if they can make stupid decisions in that what else did they screw up on with this child ???? Please Please get this child help or give advice on how we can all get this child some help I will write to whoever to ask them to help I can not get past this ,it is heartbreaking I have 5 kids and am barely scraping by but if I had the money this is what I would use it for so all you people out there with money help this little boy do the right Right now I am horrified as to what is happening with the little 8 yr old boy in Az ,but what ever I can do I want to , where was the child's mother is another question and can he get bailed out ?? By releasing the interrogation tape have they not contaminated any jury pool , that interrogation reminded me of the Michael Crowe case did we learn nothing !!! . This poor boy who has not only lost his father but was also damaged by finding his body , he is just a baby this is wrong so very wrong !

heckish   November 20th, 2008 3:27 pm ET

I think you're right...after watching it and reading all the stories on it-I think this boy did just that. He was probably in so much shock and didn't even think to realize I can call the police or 9-1-1 for an ambulance–especially if he was raised with guns and hunted with his father etc...we don't know what he was taught–he used the words "to put him out of his suffering."

The police should not have been allowed to speak with this boy without his mother or other family member there. He told his story and then it was changed! I have a 12 year old and a 9 year old-It breaks my heart to hear of these type of stories. May God be with this boy and his family.

S Dunc   November 20th, 2008 4:06 pm ET

I guess the judge's gag order didn't mean much, did it? I'm only a concerned citizen, not directly connected to any part of this case, but I've been so outraged over the way this child has been treated that I phoned the judge's office. Handcuffing an eight year-old boy who's not resisting? As opposed to some opinions, I believe the child is not at all a sociopathic killer, but he's young enough to not fully grasp reality. I don't believe for a minute that he has a true concept of death or the consequences of his actions. I say RELEASE HIM NOW into the custody of someone who will love and protect him and arrange the release in such a way that he can receive social and psychological help in the years to come. He will need it to deal with the trauma...

Many things are not adding up here.....there's no history of trouble or mental problems. It's very possible that the "confession" isn't true at all except for the first part of it. I tend to think he told the truth first then was "suggested' and/or pushed into what they're referring to as a confession. God help this kid.... and help our society if this is the best we can do. The laws much be changed for everyone's good.

And while I'm at it – I have to question the motives of the prosecutor's office and Apache County Attorney Christopher Candelaria for releasing any information at all about this case and especially such inflammatory material as the video. Shame on the bunch of you!

S Dunc   November 20th, 2008 4:25 pm ET

If there's not enough bad news in this situation, the child's defense attorney says no one has come forth to claim the boy and take him home. No one. What on earth is going on in that family? He's a third-grader being held in jail for a crime he probably didn't do. We can only imagine what atrocities he's open to at this point.

PJ Anderson   November 20th, 2008 4:57 pm ET

Amen Lisa!!

Dominick   November 20th, 2008 7:22 pm ET

Answer me this Question;
Do you thing an 8 year old can fully pull the trigget of a Gun?
I don't thing so.

Curt   November 20th, 2008 7:28 pm ET

What is really scary is how many people are willing to assume that this boy even shot the men at all. Cops screw up a lot. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. But it is always a mistake to take what they say as imartial truth.
So far there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL. The interview/interrogation by those law enforcement masterminds is WORTHLESS. It was a verbal bludgeoning of a vulnerable child.
Keep in mind, the tape also shows the boy saying he didn't do it.

jennifer young   November 20th, 2008 8:10 pm ET

They made some tremendous errors in judgement in the interrogation of this boy. He is a boy, not a young man or an adult and there are different rules that apply because of that. I have kids around this age and believe me, there is no comprehension of the taking of a life and the ramifications of that at this age. This kid needs therapy, counseling, and to be in an environment that he will be rehabilitated and not just made into another criminal.

Mel   November 20th, 2008 8:29 pm ET

i believe its possible for the little boy to have shot them both if they were already "suffering" as the little boy had said. Im sure this little boy learned when he was younger about calling 911 when bad things happen but when things happen out of the ordinary, like walkin in and seeing two men (one of which is your dad) bleeding and suffering, you dont exactly think straight. you do what your instincts tell you, and for the little boy since he hunted with his father the first thing he prolly thought was to stop their suffering the same as you would an animal.

but think about it.. how could an eight year old get away with shooting two men in different places without one of them calling 911 or getting away.. seriously.. there has to be more to this story...

Ken Varghese   November 20th, 2008 8:53 pm ET

Well, this kid didn't deserve wht he got, but other kids do really bad things. Sometimes, the only way to teach them a lesson is to try them as an adult.

laura   November 20th, 2008 9:50 pm ET

What about the video of the "baby cock-fighting". How old do you think those kids will be when one of them murders that father?

Even if the eight year old did this it had to have been out of fear. A child that age isn't capable of first-degree murder. There have to be extenuating circumstances, to say the least.

Irene   November 20th, 2008 11:57 pm ET

I can't understand that this is for real. You take an 8 year old to questioning minutes after his father has been killed, and no psychiatrist is there, no social worker and no guardian??? And you figure out in just a short time that he did it, so you must get confession from him, using tactics for adult questioning?
It is clear the child was led to confess a crime, and now we will never be certain what really happened. I'm not sure the child knows that at this point also.
Some of you are so quick to condemn this child as a budding sociopath, and you even claim "it is obvious he planed it"? Where is it obvious, I couldn't come to that conclusion by myself. I remember, the sheriff planted that information from the start.
Some of you want him to bear the consequences convinced he knows right from wrong. Well, firstly, he does not really. A child does not fully understand or grasp the reality. He cannot have drivers license, get married, drink, the guardian makes the more important decisions for him, he has age appropriate education, but he should somehow understand what he did (or not) and suffer the consequences like an adult should. And as for the guns, to allow children handle guns, and expect them to take responsibility for that as adults is beyond comprehension (remember they cannot drive etc.?).
That child was treated as a criminal from the start, was never given a chance, and as a final punch, they put the video to the public, to further victimize him. In my country children are not even brought to police stations as a witness if adult is not present.
It's just very, very sad situation every way you look at it.

michaeala   November 21st, 2008 5:25 am ET


I am NOT surprised that this apparent illegal inquisition/interigation occurred in AZ.. My daughter lives there and I have heard nothing but negative social issues since she moved there one year ago.

Second, I am not sure this child even really pulled the trigger. I keep getting thoughts that someone programmed this kid to respond this way ' in case' something happened to his father and the alleged roommate. I keep feeling like someone told this kid, 'it's ok,, you wont be in trouble if you say this'. I do not know why I feel this way; i have listened to the interview several times and each time I evaluate not just what i'm hearing but what i'm feeling.

It will be interesting to see what happens. It's also astoudning how the media has NOT played up the car the kid says he saw speed away. Developmentally, this child is just at the beginning of a new stage; do we really know how well he can detect fact from fiction?

lisalou   November 21st, 2008 11:19 am ET

This boy represents a need in America for the protection of minors. in this case, it doesn't look like he has much family or a strong mother (she didn't have custody) so the law has to ensure some fairness and protection, not conviction and jailtime w/criminals. he should be released from the juvenile detention center...who knows how this 8 year old is being treated there by young men double his age. i hope that someone at cnn -maybe lisa bloom or mr toobin – keeps up the coverage and helps bring attention and support to this boy's cause. lets not let this boy (and others) down.

Spider   November 21st, 2008 11:22 am ET

Of course this kid is innocent. He’s eight years old!!!

He, quite possibly, has confessed to a crime he did not commit, due to an illegal, or at least immoral, interrogation by police officers.
If he did kill two people, then why?
Was it an accident resulting from his being allowed access to a deadly weapon?
Was he abused? Then it would be self defense.
Was he just angry because Dad wouldn’t get him his favorite cereal?
Or because it’s cool when people die in his favorite video game?
Then he’s innocent by reason of insanity or, more precisely, a mind not developed enough to realize the results of his actions.

There is no way this boy will be convicted of anything, let alone tried as an adult for premeditated murder.

I honestly believe this is a Prosecutor’s office and a Police Department attempting to get their 15 minutes of fame. This will all come down to the charges being dropped after the police determine which of the above scenarios is the truth. Until then, the lawyers and the cops will get mentioned in newspapers and shown on TV as many times as they can manage.

“We are the heroes here. We had a confessed killer but, through great police work and professional investigation, we were able to prove this boy’s innocence.”

We should all hope that, once they have all padded their resumes, the authorities make sure this young man receives the counseling he most assuredly will need.

Michelle   November 21st, 2008 11:44 am ET

There are to many questions that are pretaining to this case? one where was an adult when the boy was beening interviewed? why wasn't his rights told to this boy? if he committed this crime why is the judge letting this boy go home for the holidays? if this boy did commit the crime wont he be a danger to the public?
i just dont understand.
a child's mind can be played with by an adult. us as an adult who have childrenlike i do can change children mind in a heartbeat.
my son whose is 15 year recently was hit by a car crossing the street a few months back. he went into shock. i can just imangaine this young boy whose is only eight is going though. just imangine a child whose is young, seeing this or doing it what type of shock he is in.
we as adults need to rimind ourselves everyday that we are teaching are young what we are taught by our parents. we need to be postive role models to our children

ncat77   November 21st, 2008 1:20 pm ET

this story is so horriible,just sickening..i am a anti-gun advocate 100%,but i do believe in our right to bear arms,the true issue here is notwhether an 8 yr old should be tried as an adult,but what can possibly be done to prevent this. the nra seemingly balks against any kind of controls or new laws,incidents like columbine and especially jonesboro come to mind,you have to go thru various steps to earn the right to drive,and yet anyone can shoot a gun? i believe that some sort of liscense should be required for anyone to own a gun,showing that they have the necessary information on it's uses and consequence,again the nra would throw a fit on their rights to ownership,and i'm not saying this would have prevented this shooting,or incidents like columbine,but it would significantly reduce future shootingsthis being said,how can gun advocates deny that something needs to change?

sharon Dettloff   November 21st, 2008 3:22 pm ET

A gun should never ever be put in the hands of anyone under 18 you have to be 18 to have sex 17 to drive a car (I think in England you do ) why because you are not mentally mature enought to handle these machines or situations oh but a child can have a lethal weapon whose sole perpuse is to harm or kill talk about the horse and cart being backwards the kickback on that rifle would have sent that child flying the second man would have heard the shots and moved, ran or made a call , the lies made by the police disgusting telling him he was heard by someone ,How about they do some work and check into the car and forensics ! I asked my 9 yr old would he admit to me he did something if he had not he said yes if I would not leave him alone and he wanted me to stop Hmmm interesting . I have written to the govenor of Az and to all the legal Anchors at cnn and I have emailed everyone in my email box to do the same

grandma   November 21st, 2008 4:33 pm ET

I am outraged at some of the press and comments I have seen. There is no proof that has been presented anywhere, other than this so-called confession, that this boy committed this crime. The only fact we know is that two grown men were murdered and we do not know who did it. Can you imagine what damage has been done to this child if he was NOT the murderer? He has been handcuffed, his ankles shackled and dragged into a courtroom. He was not permitted to attend his father's funeral. He has a whole country of morons talking about him. At this point he probably doesn't know if he did it or not, since these adults have convinced him that he did. If they had the right to release this video, I would certainly like to see the videos of the interviews with the Mom and the step mom, too. If it comes out that he is innocent I hope all of his accusers give him the help he is going to need to get over this. God bless and keep this little boy safe.

wolfgang   November 21st, 2008 5:31 pm ET

Thank you Lisa that´s the best writing I’ve ever read in this case.

I read about the story last week in a German newspaper, and was shocked, shocked that a kid of this age can get a firearm and shoot someone, an more shocked the a child can tried as an adult, maybe for lifetime without parole. Our German law didn’t allow that until a suspect is 18 sometimes 21. And lifetime didn’t mean lifetime. And Yes; I’m mostly happy with it.
I really hope that the boy get free soon, I can’t imagine how the boy must feel when he must go back in prison or so called juvenil detention after the 48 hour’s at home. A child in handcuffs and strains are also disgusting.
And at last adult crime adult time is the, sorry, stupidest thing’s I ever read about, all the crimes a kid can do, a adult can do it also, so you need no juvenil law, it’s all adult law.

melinda   November 22nd, 2008 12:13 am ET

does the police have any other physical evidence that proves that this child did this? Have the police followed up on any other possible leeds. such as the car the child saw leaving the scene? I have an eight year old son, who was repeatedly asked several questions about me and my boyfriend by my ex-husband(his father). After saying he didn't know several times, he finally started telling lies just to satisfy his father. I believe that after so much pressure a child will begin to say what an adult wants to hear. In this case i think the police went to far this time. the childs confession should be totally and completly thrown out.

Tom Williamson   November 22nd, 2008 12:34 pm ET

I dont understand why children can't be tried as adults if the crime fits. If a person, no matter their age, picks up a gun and kills 2 people, why should they be treated any different. The parents aren't to blame. They didn't walk up to the child, put the gun in his hands and tell him to pull the trigger. His father and friend didn't want to be killed. If it can be proven beyond a doubt that the child did it, then he should be held to the same standards as anyother person. This would not be brought up if the child would have been 17. The age of 17 is still legally a child, but I am pretty sure that if he was 17, he would be held as an adult. I am an eye for an eye person. If you do the crime, do the time, no matter your age. If it was my son, and it was proven beyond all doubt, then i would not argue that he be held accountable.

watching from Ohio...   November 22nd, 2008 4:35 pm ET

Okay,..this 8 yr old's situation in St. Johns, AZ is beginning to get more disturbing each passing day. Should the public request the Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard, maybe the govenor to pay some attention to this 8 yr old's legal travesty. Or maybe respectfully ask the US Attorney's office to look in what is and has happened to this child? Should the FBI in Phoenix be requested to look at this case from a child protection side to try and come up with some credible answers pertaining to the crime scene? Who needs to help at this point? Who knows but, if real credible help does not begin soon there will be 3 tragedies in Arizona . There is no excuse for what has been dealt this child so far... on all fronts. Now is the time with this current case to bring some help and changes to this town and county if this is the service they get from their law enforcement and judicial systems. Please give some legal feedback..

Iris   November 23rd, 2008 5:41 pm ET

I still think this poor 8 year old boy is not guilty. I think that the sherrifs dept should look elsewhere and keep this child under protection. I think he saw who killed them and has given the story as though he shot the family. The State of Arizona needs to step back and recognize what they are trying to accomplish and what messages they are sending throughout this heinous prosecution!!

Dan   November 23rd, 2008 9:41 pm ET

The end question here is that even if this goes before a jury, what juror in their right mind would convict? We have the right of jury nullification in this country, the right to ignore the law, as a juror, and deliver what they feel is a just verdict.

If this boy was abused he is the poster child for jury nullification and for provocation exceptions to murder statutes. If not, well that gets sticky, but in any event, I'm sure the truth will come out.

Also, no judge in their right mind would accept that confession.

janet   November 24th, 2008 3:42 am ET

To JASON, I could not have written your post better. that is exactly what happened . this little boy found them already down and bleeding just like he said before the adults kept on saying over and over he had to tell the truth and wouldn't shut up until they made the kid say what was not true. He was taught by his Dad throught shooting prairie dogs or whatever, if it didn't die then it is suffering so shoot it again. the little boy if shot them at all , was just doing what he was taught, stop it's suffering. it is child abuse i will say again as i posted before the way this little child/baby has been treated. He is not old enough to even process what death really is and that it is permanent. I Hope all Father's out there get a clue and stop trying to make men out of babies. GUNS DO NOT BELONG IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN~~ THIS CHILD'S FATHER FAILED MISERABLY TO PROTECT HIS LITTLE SON SO LOOK NOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HIS BABY. WAS IT WORTH IT TO TRY TO MAKE A MAN OUT OF AN 8 YEAR OLD SO YOU COULD BRAG TO YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOUR 8 YEAR OLD IS A HUNTER? IT WAS WONDERFUL TO READ YOUR POST. THANK YOU~~ IT IS GREAT TO SEE SOME OF US ADULTS STILL HAVE SOME SENSE~~

janet   November 24th, 2008 3:58 am ET


ARZ   November 24th, 2008 3:24 pm ET

Let the little boy go home to his mother. If the prosecutors have any sense at all they will save the tax payers some money by dropping the entire case. Also, the two women officers interrogating the boy should be disciplined by suspension, demotion, and/or a pay cut. This will send the message to to other law enforcement officers that this is not the way to do business in any type of case involving a minor.

Sue   November 24th, 2008 3:33 pm ET

They need to let this boy go! There is no way he did this crime. I was raised around guns. There is absolutely no way this little boy shot these two grown men with a 22 caliber single shot bolt action rifle unless he is a little rambo. It takes a lot of skill to reload 10 times and he would have had to be a crack shot, too. He would have had to know exactly where to shoot to bring these men down before they could stop him. Please people stop talking about this kid. This has to be the most ridiculous case I have EVER seen. Somebody killed them for sure, but it wasn't this little kid. The confession is a crock. Isn't there anything that can be done to get him released?

bob   November 24th, 2008 3:45 pm ET

These two officers should be fired.
The police chief should be fired.
The county prosecutor should be fired.

If possible, each one of them should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for violating this boy's rights.

This is a travesty of the American justice system. There has been more than enough of that in the last eight years. The only excuse for it is if they purposely colluded to violate the boy's rights so he would not have to stand trial – and that avenue has its own disturbing ramifications.

Kal Sanders   November 24th, 2008 6:38 pm ET

I am an art therapist who spent many years working with children in extreme situations. I also am the mother of two young adult sons.
I am so blown away by the way this case has unfolded ! This child needs help immediatly! Is there a loving, caring skilled professional
working with him? Is there comprehensive investigation regarding other suspects? This case is so disturbing and preoccupying to me as well as many, many others obviously. I want to do something to help him– but what? We can't simply sit back and watch the gross mis-management while an eight year old child rots away in solitary confinement! MY goodness what have we come to in this country!!!!

Z   November 24th, 2008 8:40 pm ET

This is misguided, lame liberal journalism that tries to vilify the "incompetent" police against some "innocent" child. The kid was the first person to raise the alarm about the deaths and the police started their investigation with him alone (Dad dead, Mom in Mississippi) to find out leads. Then they quickly figured out that all the physical evidence (there's probably nothing but 4 bullet holes from the Dad's gun with the kids prints, no forced entry, no robbery) pointed to the kid himself! So, the investigation slipped towards interrogation.

I'd say that the "confession " is inadmissble as he WAS denied due process, and he may have been coaxed a bit but his obvious relaxed confidence discussing shooting these guys tells me he did it.

Let's be real here, my Grandma was tougher on me when I stole meatballs from the kettle than these two cops, but the way Lisa reacted you'd think the kid was waterboarded at Guantanamo while they burned the Koran on his lap!

I say let him go and have him live next door to Lisa.

Janet   November 24th, 2008 8:50 pm ET

Do these professionals know nothing about the national model of Forensic Interviewing of young children? Tell them to contact the National Children's Alliance in Huntsville,AL or Corner House in Minnesota. Both organizations will gladly volunteer to educate them on the protocol that has been the model for interviewing young children for legal cases for many years. The fact that ANY law enforcement agency has such a clear lack of awareness of a nationally accepted model for interviewing children says alot about the efficiency and capabilities of its membership. That child is being tortured on top of the emotional trauma he has suffered from the loss of his father and the discovery of the body. I know nothing of this child personally but I would be he did not commit the crime – and I base that not on the fact that he's a small child – but on the few facts that have come out about what he said during the interview process.
Anyone who has been a part of his interrogation and now his incarceration should be ashamed of themselves. And I do hope what they dish out comes back to them 100 times more.
That child will never be the same – and that's because of the idiot adults who are dealing with him.

Janet   November 24th, 2008 9:01 pm ET

Does this police dept not know about the national model of Forensic Interviewing of young children that has been in place for YEARS? Tell someone to call the National Children's Alliance in Huntsville, AL or Corner House in Minnesota and I'm sure someone will gladly give them some training. They broke EVERY rule that is applied to getting quality testimony from young children that DOES hold up in courts of law. His testimony has now been so tainted – it would be useless against whomever really is the perpetrator. And what's worse – he is now being tortured by being incarcerated. I wish on those officers every kind of disrespect and dishonor they have heaped on this child. And I hope that by the time these messages are read that someone with a brain out there has released the child PERMANENTLY to the custody of his mother.

brenda   November 25th, 2008 12:11 am ET

what is wrong with some people that want to trie a little boy as an adult for something that he most likely never did? the police should be VERY ashamed of themselves .how would the police react if that happened to one of their children???different story then!!!!!

Dan   November 25th, 2008 12:15 am ET

Brazil and Colombia both have ages of responsibility of 18, both have such a crime problem that innocent people can't go out at night in areas. Coincidence?

wolfgang   November 25th, 2008 12:46 pm ET

where is the bottom line where children can be prosecuted ? 8,7, 6… ,here will be a new bottom line drawn for children . which prosecutor will draw a lower line ? who will get the world record. St. Johns Arizona will get a lot attention in the rest of the world, when an eight year old boy is getting prosecuted , -guilty or not. But then it´s too late for the boy, he will be mental violated for the rest of his life. I still can´t imagine, why can people do that ? how can they do that, to a 8 year old boy ?
The USA is losing a friend, I was pro US, still during the Bush administration and we wanted to visit the US again next year,- but now, we can´t, we can´t visit a country where so much children are in prison, where they want an 8 year old boy prosecuted as adult ! where they want an 8 year old boy in prison. Children in prison are a absolutely no go. Anywhere on the world. If they affected to something like this, they need mental help and a family or adult who love them , not behind a wall of glass. Everything else is child abuse.

Desiree   November 25th, 2008 6:28 pm ET

This is ridiculous.

Not the case, not the murder, not the police, but this message board. There are so many people wanting to see this kid rot in jail and we have NO idea if he even did it or not. All we have is a "confession." When you were 8, was every word that came out of your mouth when you were cornered the truth? How together would you be after seeing your dead father on the floor? Were you a young action hero that could go from one floor to another shooting everyone in sight and come away without a scratch? Quit saying, "He should pay for his crime" because there is a chance that he committed no crime at all. An actual investigation needs to take place in a city not reminiscent of Mayberry or St. Olaf and this kid needs love and care to get through what happened.

If this kid wasn't getting abused before the murder, he sure is now. He is being abused by the justice system and his fellow Americans. I'm pro-life, and I don't think that fighting for a child's rights ends once a baby is not aborted. He is still a child that God has a plan for and I care about what happens to him. I'm going to pray hard for him and his family. Guilty or innocent, he is going through a tough time and doesn't need uneducated verdicts.

Angela Moses   November 25th, 2008 9:52 pm ET

I am a mother of 6 and I can tell you children will tell Adults what they want to hear. In the begining of the interview he was telling the truth. Towards the end any good mother could tell you he is saying what he thinks he is suppose to say. That is why he says I think.... Alot, because these words have now become what he is suppose to say and he is unsure of exactly what that is. It is terrible that these people did this, what about finding the true murderer?

Angela   November 25th, 2008 10:06 pm ET

Do any of you who really believe he did it have children? Most parents or child caregivers can tell that the boy was telling the truth until he became tired,and confussed. Children want to say and do what is right and only hold on to thier own Ideas as long as they are supported and encouraged. Otherwise they are easily persuaded to doubt themselves and go along with what everyone else wants to hear. The system has a terrible terrible habbit of acting like 8 year olds themselves. I think they've gotten into a terrible habit of creating the truth that they think they want to hear. We need more intelligent, independent and morally strong people working for us. Social workers, and police officers seem to be out of control.

Kat McGuire, KS   November 26th, 2008 10:27 pm ET

My mom was a cop when I was a kid in the 60's and my brothers and I NEVER saw her duty weapon. She has passed now and I still don't know where she kept it when we were young. When I was a little older I was taught early on about how to clean, use and keep guns with RESPONSIBILITY and parental supervision. When the parental units were done, the weapons were put up and locked up. Yes, the deceased father in this case was negligent in many areas but he isn't to blame for his own death. I feel this child wasn't given his due mirandization or interrogation but he diffenetly needs mental help. If we just let kids off because they are 'kids' you guys better start watching your backs! What age do you draw the line with kids? When are they going to start being cullpable of their actions? I had a 5 year old, yes 5 year old foster child stand over me with a knife in his hand when I woke up outta a dead sleep one morning! If this kid did shoot these two people, he needs to go to a juvenile detention center and get help. BTW, I am a mom, a foster parent of 12 years and a grandma.

wolfgang   November 27th, 2008 3:00 pm ET

The thing, I really don´t understand is why is the bottom line for kids so low in the USA, if they can appear on court ? and what I absolutely don´t understand is, why can kids prosecuted as a adult? even when they are 8 years old? they are kid´s. We had a clear line in Germany below 14 there will be nothing at all to the kid, parent´s are full responsible for the kid, in this reason the father (I know, it´s sounds stupid, -he would be full responsible for the death of the other man and his own death, cause he doesn´t make sure that the boy can´t get on the weapon). The line for adult law is 18, no chance to get below that line, there are no tricks for charging a kid as adult. kid´s are special protected by law, even if they are guilty for a crime like this.
I still can´t imagine if everything is getting worse for the kid, that this boy is going in prison for a long time maybe for lifetime, how will you tell it to the boy? will he understand that ? what is the reason to give him not the needed help?, long time in prison or so called juvenile detention can´t be good for the kid, it only fulfilled the revenge feeling´s of some people. I understand that the family's who are direct involved have this feeling´s, but at last does it make sense, kid´s are changing, and I see no reason why this kid can´t be a good adult once a time.

Kat McGuire, KS   November 28th, 2008 3:23 am ET


The kid will probably go to a detention center until he is 25 for the MAX sentence. I think he will get off lighter than that but he still needs to be punished. If we don't punish him, what are we doing? We are sending out a message that kids can kill and maim and nothing will happen to them.

Like I said in my first post. I had "timed out" a 5 year old foster child. I woke up with him with a knife over me. He had come outta his room, went to the kitchen, came back up the hall and into our room and STOOD OVER ME! What would have happened if I had not woke up? I dunno.

The newest news that has come out is that he tallied his spankings. That suggests to me that, from the story, when he hit his 1000 spanking he was going to 'do something about it'. IMO

Now, think about it for a second here.....if we all feel sorry and do nothing to help these kids and want to free all of them cause they are just kids; we are going to have every kid who gets a spanking, doesn't want to eat something, can't go to Disneyland or stole a cookie from the cookie jar and got caught killing their care givers!

Now on the other hand, if we punish these kids like adults all we are going to do is mold them into non feeling and non caring individuals who are going to go through hell in the system with no help and IF ever released will commit more crimes more than likely.

Being a foster parent for as long as I have, and watching the system treat these kids and the red tape that follows....I will be the first to say it is all a big joke! We have to lock up toothpaste because it says "Keep out of reach of children" but yet we can have alcohol out on ours bars (because it doesn't say anything about keep out of reach) and knives in the kitchen.

When the system is done screwing around and starts to act like a real system and HELPS, maybe our children will have more of a chance in their futures.

Iris   November 28th, 2008 7:02 am ET

Now the police are saying that this boy kept track of spankings?? Kids get spanked and don't kill their family!! I see an interview where he says he was spanked 5 times and this is being used to convict him?? I don't get it. This child cannot bring his father back-his grandmother and stepmother won't even stand behind him. All the boy is doing is saying whatever the police want him to say. He's being railroaded!! Place him in the care of a psychiatrist. All further police questioning should stop and a deal should be made with the defense to allow this child to receive help. This is appalling.

Irene   November 28th, 2008 2:18 pm ET

Has anybody seen this child's room? If you have not, it was a mess (like the rest of the house). It does not leave the impression of somebody that would keep track on paper. It would take an organized person to be consistent in that way. You don't expect to find a diary from a girl that has lack of enthusiasm, and is to lazy to clean her room? And where is this list we are hearing about? They have not found it yet. It was not yet disclosed as evidence to the court. Does it even exist?

wolfgang   November 28th, 2008 4:41 pm ET

Thanks KatMcGuire,KS for the replay, I don´t thing if a kid do this in Germany, it wouldn't be without any consequences, I think it would be supervised by a psychiatrist for a long time, it would be proved if the adult (in this case, his mom) can handle the boy, if not the boy would be send to a intact family (I think that´s nearly the same as the foster care in Your country), by the way I would say my respect to all families who do that. In Germany The so called "youth welfare office" (I thing that´s not the correct translation) will have a look on the boy also until he is 18. The intention still is, not to punish but rehabilitation and to make the kid know that what it has done, is wrong. The kid should grow up as normal as possible, cause kids specially of this young age need a parent. I for myself don´t think that punishment, like years in prison (or juvenile detention) will do its job, withdraw of love is the worst thing ever you can do to a kid. Kid´s of this age had sometimes feeling´s and emotion´s that must come out, they need love, some advise, -playing with other kid´s of the same age, to get a normal human being. A juvenile detention has strict rules, the bad thing is, all visit between the parent and child are non contact. -I live with a woman who has two boy´s, 11 and 13 now, I know them more than four years, and the boy´s still need sometimes mom´s arm´s, so who do that job in "juvi" ? specially a 8 year old boy who maybe traumatized himself ? , I´m sure he will get nightmares sooner or later, the bad pictures will come back (-for lifetime), and I know where I talk from. I lost my younger brother when he was 18 during a suicide, if you saw that, you never forget the pictures they are all coming back sometimes.
I still believe there is a reason, if the boy does this really and spanking a boy so often can cause in this, but I´m not sure if this is all, what was happened. I don´t think the boy is a killer or murder.

Chelly   December 2nd, 2008 12:06 pm ET

Has anyone checked to see if this child was being abused by his father and the fathers friend? Something just doesn't seem right about this case. I can't imagine an 8 year old deciding he is going to kill his father and friend. What is the reason behind it? This child needs help and incarceration is not the answer. The police messed up by not reading the child his rights or having the proper representation (an adult, mom, someone from his family) present when they were interrogating him. Now they are mad because they screwed up and might not be able to use his so called "confession" in court.

TJ Lincoln   December 2nd, 2008 1:24 pm ET

"Arizona’s lax gun laws do not require adults to keep their guns away from children, or even to install trigger locks. As long as we allow angry or confused kids access to guns, we will have gun deaths. Are we so afraid to address the real issue that we’d prosecute a little boy?"

Lisa, you are confusing the issue. Don't cloud it with your anti-gun rhetoric. First, even if Arizona had gun laws requiring the guns be locked and stored appropriately its apparent the father didn't have common sense enough to do so. So he was irresponsible. Second, the father was irresponsible for not teaching his son to NEVER touch a firearm unless supervised by an adult. Children that are actively parented and taught correctly from the beginning rarely commit such offenses.
So I agree with your premise that we need to address the "real issue"...dead beat irresponsible parents. While police conduct, the age of accountability, and gun laws may be issues of debate they are mearly tangents in this case.

Shoulda..coulda..woulda..   December 2nd, 2008 2:55 pm ET

Are you people serious? You make it seem as if an 8 year old has no understanding of anything he does. Granted he should have had an adult during his "interrogation" and he may have said anything just to get the police to stop questioning him, but that doesn't negate the fact that he did willfully shoot two men in cold-blood. Children nowadays are more aware of their actions and of those around them moreso than when we were kids.

This kid should be sent to Juvie, then jail when he turns 18.

legal man   December 2nd, 2008 3:55 pm ET

from my experience these kids are taught how to get around the legal system real good. as it say's an angry "child" can and will do as he/she wish's. if the parent disciplines them they end up in the court being tried as a child abuser. I am not saying this is the case here but think twice before you think an 8 year old couldn't do this.

Bill   December 2nd, 2008 8:22 pm ET

I have issues with the child being tried as an adult. The youngest criminal that is locked up in the State of Texas was 15. I'm not allowed to give a name or even the charges, but it was a few years ago that he was put in prison. Eight year old children are going through great changes, especially with the steriods and other chemicals in todays foods children are maturing at a much younger age. Their bodies develop before their minds. The biggest problem I see is that this country has taken the right of parents to discipline their children away from the parents. Be upset if you want, but time outs don't work on many children. I see so many BRATS that do what ever they want and disrespect their parents without any worry of punishment. The other issue that this case is bringing up is gun control. I've had access to firearms since I was six years old. I was taught at a young age about the function, but especially about the respect of a weapon and what it was capable of. I truly feel that no one should put an age on who can use a fire arm. If a parent feels that a child is responsible enough to use one. Even still, all of them should be shown what kind of damage a gun can cause when it is used in the wrong manner. It might make them see reallity instead of what they see in the video games that they play in this day and age.

Erin   January 10th, 2009 12:57 am ET

This is a great posting - I hope that we can find the courage in this country to address the "real issues" and the compassion to free the eight-year-old alleged killer.

mom2   February 19th, 2009 10:37 pm ET

I think that the boy should not be charged as an adult for crying out loud. On the other hand two people are dead.I believe they should investigate this carefully;maybe the boy did not do it.Maybe like someone said he came upon this.If he did though I think he should pay his sentence in probation. He does need help if he is sick or was abused. Sad to say there are also psychopaths and they do start in childhood too so that's why there should be monitering all round. I can't imagine a boy his age in jail.It makes me feel sick.How sad this whole thing is.

helen perala   February 23rd, 2009 9:13 am ET

Maybe he's telling little white lies and didn't even do it maybehrs protecting the real criminal Where has dear old mommy Bren thru all this I have a eight year old I can't see him committi g murder but he lies all the time to protect his friends family I catch him in the act!! Trying tp protect his friends cousins He lied about his cousin giving hitting him so his cousin wouldn't get in trouble Think about it

Carol   January 15th, 2010 2:48 pm ET

Just another example of how the US does not value children. I see this also in sentencing of offenders against children. It's a shame.

carol   March 11th, 2010 7:26 pm ET

I have been wondering what has happened in this case.I sure hope the boy got the help he needed to live life good. march 11,2010

lisa   August 7th, 2010 6:50 pm ET

I am not familiar with all the facts in this case, however some things in this article has made me have an opinion.

I am a mother of an 8 and an 9 yr old boys. Both my children know right from wrong, and both know guns kill. If you ask them if they where to shoot someone one what would happen they both will say "that person dies and you go to jail for murder."

So a child as young as 8 can know right from wrong, can understand that shooting a gun can kill someone, and understand such actions can cause you to go to jail... and if more parents spent time raising their kids to know these things maybe some of these crimes would not happen, and when they did we as a society would know then that the child may be mentally disturbed not just an uneducated, and neglected child. And then we as a society would be more open to doing the right thing and assisting in getting these children help, and put away to protect themselves and society as well.

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