Ariz. boy, 9, pleads guilty in fatal shootings
ST. JOHNS, Ariz. - A 9-year-old Arizona boy pleaded guilty yesterday to negligent homicide in the shooting death of his father's roommate.
Under a plea agreement, two charges of premeditated murder in the deaths of the father and the roommate were dropped. Police said the boy used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot the men as they returned home from work.
The plea spares the boy, who lives in a rural community of about 4,000, from serving time in the state juvenile corrections system or being tried as an adult.
The boy has not been sentenced. He could be sent to the county juvenile system, which would keep him close to his relatives.
"It's a compromise - no one is really pleased," defense lawyer Benjamin Brewer said after the hearing.
The boy's mother objected to the plea deal.
The boy previously pleaded not guilty in the Nov. 5 deaths of his father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero, and the roommate, 39-year-old Timothy Romans, who rented a room from the boy's father.
The boy was 8 at the time of the killings.