Arizona Boy, 8, Arrested in Double Murder

Police say youth shot his father and another man at home
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2008 10:27 AM CST
A jail cell.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An Arizona 8-year-old soon will be charged with the premeditated murder of his father and a boarder at his home, the Arizona Republic reports. The two men were found shot to death at the family residence Wednesday in the small town of St. Johns, and the boy was near the scene. “This is precedent-setting,” the police chief said. “We're going to charge an 8-year-old with two counts of homicide.”

The prosecutor in the case did not speculate as to why the boy may have killed his father and the other man. The boy will be tried as a minor, but issues of competency will surely be at the fore. Children under 10 are generally not criminally liable under Arizona law, but “we think an exception can be made based on the facts and circumstances,” the prosecutor said. If convicted, the boy would likely remain in juvenile detention until he becomes an adult.