AZ child admits double shooting in police video - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

AZ child admits double shooting in police video

House where an 8-year-old boy is charged with killing his father and another man with a rifle, St. Johns, AZ House where an 8-year-old boy is charged with killing his father and another man with a rifle, St. Johns, AZ

By Mark Stine - email

ST. JOHNS, AZ (KOLD) - An interview between police and an 8-year-old boy accused of murdering his father and his father's friend has just been released by the Apache County Attorney's Office.

The murders happened in the small eastern Arizona town of St. Johns, just 25 miles north of Springerville in Apache County just over a week ago.

"Umm, I just kind of would check to see if he was a little bit alive."

An 8-year-old boy describes to police the moment he found his father Vincent Romero and his father's friend and roommate Tim Romans murdered in their home.

Officer: "You checked if he was a little bit alive? Ok. And how did you do that?"
8-year-old: "I just kind of went like that."
Officer: "With your foot?"
8-year-old: "I think so, yeah."
Officer: "Ok."
8-year-old: "And I didn't hear anything. And I just saw some blood, and then I cried for like 30 minutes, just crying right next to him."

The third grader says he didn't go straight home from school the day of the murders. Instead, he says, he went for a walk around their block. When he got home, he found the men already dead.

Officer: "You're sure that you weren't home?"
8-year-old: "Yes. Yes."
Officer: "You're sure?"
8-year-old: "Umm."
Officer: "Ok, because I heard something that somebody said that somebody was calling your name, and that you weren't answering them at the house."
8-year-old: "Who was calling my name?"
Officer: "Somebody told me that."
8-year-old: "No one was calling my name."

The boy says he saw a car driving fast away from the house. Police say the child is using that as his alibi.

Officer: "Ok, I need to ask you one more time. Ok? Were you home before you said you were home? Did you go home right after school?"
8-year-old: "No."

But after some more time with the officers, the boy starts changing his story - eventually admitting to shooting his own father and friend.

"I think I shot my dad because he was suffering," the boy told the officers.

The boy says the men were already shot. He just shot them again, so they wouldn't suffer. He says he went downstairs and saw his fathers friend, Tim, shaking.

"I saw Tim, and then the gun went off at that time," the boy said.

The legality of the interview is now being scrutinized. The defense attorney says the child was not read his rights and did not have an attorney or parent present during the interrogation, and that makes it improper.

The boy is scheduled to make an appearance in court Wednesday.

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