In my first two novels, Compulsion and Dead Game, protagonist Emily Stone works in solitude to track down and bring to justice those who prey upon the most vulnerable in our society. The same goes for Deputy Jack Davis, whose work is featured in my third book, Silent Partner. They both have a passion for taking the most violent criminals off the street. I wonder what they would do if confronted with the reality that one of those who we normally consider among the vulnerable was the one who was now accused of murder.
A twelve-year-old boy in Indiana will appear in court this week to answer for the murder of his stepbrother, who was only six years old when he was shot in the head and died. The accused, who was eleven at the time of the event, is being tried as a juvenile but still faces detention if convicted. His attorney is arguing that while his client is the one who pulled the trigger, the episode was a tragic accident.
The boy first said in interviews that his stepbrother had shot himself. When a recreation of the scene proved that assertion impossible, he admitted that he had been the one holding the gun. He also admitted that he had threatened his siblings with loaded weapons in the past. This time, he says that he thought the gun had been emptied of bullets and he was reacting to his little brother’s refusal to do a chore.
His mother and her boyfriend are both being charged with neglect in this case.
The boy’s former stepfather claims that he taught the accused about gun safety, but admits he can’t remember if he talked with the boy specifically about the .22 caliber weapon that eventually killed a six-year-old boy. That leaves the question—is such a weapon ever considered safe in the hands of a young adolescent?
What do you think about this preteen boy being charged with murder? Is this an appropriate measure? Do the adults in this situation deserve more accountability? I would love to know your thoughts on this case.
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I wrote a previous blog post about children and whether or not they should be diagnosed as a psychopath. You can view the article HERE
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting