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Boy, 8, says he didn't fire first shots

By Felicia Fonseca
Associated Press / November 19, 2008
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ST. JOHNS, Ariz. - An 8-year-old boy accused in the shooting deaths of his father and another man said in a police interview released yesterday that he did not fire the first shots at the men, but later shot them so they wouldn't suffer.

The boy gave conflicting accounts of the shootings during an hour-long video of his interview with authorities in St. Johns, but the video ends with him admitting to pulling the trigger. He then buries his head in his jacket.

"I'm going to go to juvie," the boy said after an officer asked what he was thinking in the video.

At one point in the video, the boy said he had been mad at his father. He said he was supposed to bring home some papers from school earlier in the week and got spanked five times because he didn't.

The boy has been charged in juvenile court with two counts of murder in the deaths of his father, Vincent Romero, and Timothy Romans, who rented a room there and was Romero's co-worker.

A defense attorney has said police overreached in their questioning of the boy, who was not represented by a family member or lawyer during the interview.

"I think they're going to have a problem getting that statement into court," defense attorney Benjamin Brewer said earlier this month before a judge issued a gag order in the case. "I believe there were many violations in regards to how it was obtained."

The gag order does not extend to the release of reports or recordings that would be considered public record in Arizona.

The shootings occurred Nov. 5 in an eastern Arizona community about 170 miles northeast of Phoenix.

The boy is due in court today for a hearing. He is being held in a juvenile jail.

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