America's Youngest Convicted Killers

As one of America's youngest convicted killers goes free, we look back at the other troubled youths who spent their childhood behind bars

Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson

Age at Time of Crime: Golden (11) and Johnson (13)

Age at Conviction: Golden (12) and Johnson (14)

Crime: On March 24, 1998, Golden and Johnson, allegedly opened fire on a group of students and teachers exiting Westside Middle School in Craighead County, Arkansas. One teacher and four students were killed during the carefully planned shooting spree at Westside, where both the boys were students, and another 10 were injured.

Sentence: Since both the boys were under 15, they could not be tried as adults in Arkansas, according to The New York Times. Golden pled temporary insanity as his motive behind the massacre, while Johnson pled guilty to the murder counts. During the trial, each boy read a letter of apology for the shooting. Golden and Johnson were charged with five counts of murder in Juvenile Court and were sentenced to be held in a juvenile detention facility until their 18th birthdays, another three years were added on for federal gun charges. Both Golden and Johnson were released on their 21st birthdays.