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- November 24, 2008
- Vol. 70
- No. 21
A Killer at Age 8?
In a Rare Case, Police Arrest An Arizona Youngster in the Cold-Blooded Murder of His Father and Another Man
St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick said there was no immediate evidence that the boy had been abused, either by his father or the other victim, Timothy Romans, 39, who rented a room in the Romero home. But he vowed to investigate that angle. "He just doesn't decide one day ... to shoot his father and his father's friend for no reason," said Melnick. "Something led up to this." Romero, who was divorced from the boy's mother and had full custody of his son, had recently begun teaching the boy how to hunt with the rifle.
Authorities announced they would move to have the boy tried as an adult. Romero, who worked in construction, was a well-liked figure in St. Johns, located 170 miles northeast of Phoenix. Meanwhile, the youngster, who police say confessed to the murders, awaits his fate in jail. "He's trying to be as tough as he can," says Ron Wood, a lawyer who has seen him. "But how tough can you be when you're 8?"
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