FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – An 8-year-old boy is charged with murder in the shooting of his father and another man in a rural community in eastern Arizona, authorities said Friday.
The boy was charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the death of his father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero, and 39-year-old Timothy Romans, St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick said.
Police arrived at the home within minutes of the shooting Wednesday, Melnick said. They found one victim just outside the front door and the other dead in an upstairs room.
The boy, who prosecutors say had never been in trouble before, initially denied involvement in the shooting but later confessed, Melnick said.
Police have not said what they think the boy's motive was.
Defense attorney Benjamin Brewer argued Friday that police overreached in questioning the boy without representation from a parent or attorney and did not advise him of his rights.
"They became very accusing early on in the interview," Brewer said. "Two officers with guns at their side, it's very scary for anybody, for sure an 8-year-old kid."
A judge determined at a hearing Friday that there was probable cause to believe the boy committed the killings. He is being held at the Apache County juvenile detention center.
St. Johns is a community of about 4,000 people about 170 miles northeast of Phoenix.
Premeditated? At 8 years old?