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Arizona boy pleads guilty in shooting death

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 19, 2009 in Crime
A nine-year-old boy shot and killed his father and his roommate with a .22-caliber rifle last year. Initially he didn’t plead guilty but now he has plead guilty to one of those deaths and narrowly escaped being tried as an adult in Arizona.
The boy was eight years old when he shot his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and his roommate, Timothy Romans, 39, on November 5, 2008 with a .22 caliber rifle . He shot his father to escape punishment for not doing his homework. His father had taught him how to shoot a hunting gun in the months before his death.
Initially the boy refused to plead guilty to the shooting deaths and the Arizona police were not sure how to file charges against the kid. In Arizona anyone over eight can be tried as an adult.
Today the boy, with the help of his lawyers, made a plea agreement with the prosecutors. Under the agreement, two charges of premeditated murder for the deaths of the father and the roommate were dropped and the boy plead guilty to negligent homicide in the shooting death of the roommate.
This agreement helps avoid exposing the boy and the case to the public; it also prevents the boy from serving time in the state juvenile corrections systems or tried as an adult.
The boy, now 9 years old, will probably be sent to the county juvenile system, which will allow him to keep in touch with his close relatives, his mother and others.
Benjamin Brewer, the defense attorney for the boy said at the hearing:
It's a compromise — no one is really pleased.
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