Blogging from Phoenix: Rumors of abuse, that went on for a couple years, are being circulated in the small desert community of St John’s Arizona, A mostly Catholic community where a boy of 8, is alleged to have killed his Dad and a house mate in cold blood, with a single action 22 caliber rifle. And now the Apache County Arizona Prosecutors office is offering a plea deal in the case.

Full details of the offer were not made public on the Apache County Superior Court’s Web site. But we do know Apache County Attorney Chris Candelaria “tendered a plea offer to the juvenile’s attorneys that would resolve all the charges in the juvenile court, contingent on the results of the mental health evaluations.” The Prosecutor was apparently responding to a motion by the boy’s defense attorney, attempting to block a tactical move by Apache County officials to drop one of two first-degree murder charges the boy faces for the shooting deaths of his 29-year-old father and Timothy Romans, 39, earlier this month.

Attorney Benjamin Brewer, who represents the accused eight year old, argued in a Nov. 25 filing that prosecutors wanted the charge dismissed, so they could re-file when the boy was older and press the case in adult court. Brewer said Saturday; a plea deal would resolve the case without his client being transferred to adult court, though he declined to provide any additional detail. While considering the offer, the boy’s attorney said he is unsure if his client has the ability to understand the court proceedings. Two scheduled mental health evaluations have yet to be completed. “It is going to be difficult to assess what (the boy) can or cannot enter into,” Brewer remarked “But certainly we’re looking at it.” Juveniles in Arizona can only be held until they turn 18. But Arizona law does permit prosecution of children as adults beginning at age eight.

The prosecutor explained in his response to Brewer’s opposition filing, he really wasn’t trying to obtain an unfair advantage, but pressed for dismissal of one charge because the judicial system just isn’t equipped to deal with an 8-year-old charged with murder. “It is done to ensure the juvenile and the two murder victims in this case, do not fall through the cracks in the system that might occur if both charges remain in the pending delinquency petition.”

Candelaria went on to explain, the boy might be found incompetent to stand trial, should that happen. The court would be required by law to order efforts to restore the boy to competency. But if that couldn’t be done within eight months, the judge would be required by law to dismiss the criminal case and bar it from being re-filed. Then the court would be required to initiate civil commitment proceedings, Candelaria wrote. If the boy is found incompetent because of his age, he wouldn’t fit the definition of a mentally disordered person and no treatment would be available. “Such a result would deny the victims and public of any sense of justice for these heinous murders,” Candelaria continued. “It would also deny the juvenile those rehabilitative services he apparently needs, to both deal with why he was capable of committing these murders and to assist him with the grief and remorse that he is probably feeling.”

Police in St. Johns found the men murdered after the boy ran to a neighbor’s house on the afternoon of Nov. 5. He was questioned after Romans wife raised suspicions about him the next day, and in a videotape released by prosecutors he admits pulling the trigger. Romans worked with the boy’s father and rented a room in his home. Each man was reportedly shot several times with a single-shot, bolt-action .22-caliber rifle. The boy’s grandmother also said to police, if any 8-year-old was capable of the crimes, it was him. Police reports say the boy told a state Child Protective Services worker his 1,000th spanking would be his last.

The boy is currently being held in a county juvenile facility, although he was allowed a 48-hour furlough to spend Thanksgiving with his mother. The next court hearing is set for Dec. 8.

PSBURTON SAYS, “1000th spanking” and the boy is eight years old, 365 days in a year last I checked, did I mention the child is 8 years old, the parents were divorced a couple years ago, Folks you do the math, I speculate, and yes its rank speculation, The guy who rented a room in a house where a child was being beaten daily if not several times a day might still be alive if he had taken time to call the police 900 or 800 or 500 beatings ago.

That’s my view, though I’m sure if you beat your kids on a daily basis, yours is different.

psburton

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