COCKEYSVILLE, Md. - A 15-year-old boy was charged with murder yesterday in the deaths of his parents and two younger brothers, who were shot in their sleep at their home in a Baltimore suburb.
After the killings, police said, Nicholas Waggoner Browning spent more than 12 hours with friends, before returning and reporting that he had found his father's body.
Browning was charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of his father, John Browning, 45; his mother Tamara, 44; and his brothers Gregory, 13, and Benjamin, 11.
He was arrested early yesterday morning after being questioned about the killings, said Bill Toohey, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Police.
The teen had not been getting along with his father, police said in a news release. On Friday night, he went into the house after other family members were asleep and shot each of them using his father's handgun, which was in the house, police said.
After the slayings, he threw the gun away in bushes near his house, police said. The gun has been recovered, Toohey said.
When his friends took Browning back to his house at 5 p.m. Saturday, he went into the house and came back out to say that his father was dead. He called 911.
Police officers found Browning's father dead in a ground-floor room and the bodies of his mother and brothers in upstairs bedrooms. There was no sign of a confrontation, Toohey said.
John Browning was an attorney and partner at Royston, Mueller, McLean & Reid.
Nicholas Browning was denied bail yesterday, and a bail review was scheduled today at District Court in Towson. He was being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center in a special section for juveniles.
Toohey said he didn't know whether Browning had a lawyer.
Even if convicted as an adult of first-degree murder, Browning is too young under state law to face the death penalty.
Two of Nicholas Browning's fellow students drove past the family's house yesterday afternoon. They started to weep when told by reporters that Browning was charged in the slayings.
"It's hard to believe someone could do this," said Brooke Kebaugh, 16.
Liz Lazlawbach, 17, said Browning complained about fighting with his father, but "not about anything violent."