Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Judge OKs therapist for boy charged with murder

Judge OKs therapist for boy charged with murder

A 9-year-old boy charged with murdering his father and another man will be allowed to meet with a therapist, a judge ruled.
Apache County Superior Court Judge Michael Roca granted a defense motion for a therapist this week after twice rejecting it because he objected to some of the terms.
A counselor from the probation department had been visiting with the boy, who faces two counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of his father and another man. Defense attorneys objected, saying statements the boy makes to the counselor could be used against him in trial.
Roca relieved that counselor and asked that any notes or observations that were made during visits with the boy be relayed to the new therapist. The judge stipulated that the new therapist meet with the boy under the same conditions as others in her profession would.
Defense attorneys had attempted unsuccessfully to exempt the therapist from testifying about her exchanges with the boy, who is not being identified because of his age.
Defense attorney Benjamin Brewer said the boy had trouble sleeping and was struggling with his mother being out of town.
"He's having to deal with that, and that can be difficult," Brewer said Wednesday. "But he's a strong kid."
The charges against the boy stem from the Nov. 5 shooting deaths of his 29-year-old father, Vincent Romero, and Timothy Romans, 39, who was renting a room in the family's home in the small eastern Arizona community of St. Johns. Police have said the boy, who was 8 years old at the time, used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot the men as they returned home from work.
The next hearing in the case is set for Jan. 29.
Prosecutors have asked Roca to drop one of the murder charges against the boy, but the judge said he wouldn't rule on any substantive issues until the boy's competency was determined.
Prosecutors filed a special action with the state Court of Appeals last month asking whether Roca abused his discretion by not ruling on a motion.
The court considered the special action Tuesday, but a decision had not been issued.


Updated : 2021-05-07 07:20 GMT+08:00