8 Year Old Arizona Boy Accused of Killing Father and Another Man with 22 Caliber Rifle


An 8 year old Arizona boy is accused of killing his father and another man. The 8 year old St. Johns, AZ boy fatally shot his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos with a .22-caliber rifle. The boy faces two counts of premeditated murder and it is uncertain on how prosecutors will try the minor. It is shocking and baffling as to how could an 8 year old child could do such a thing.

“It was such a tragedy,” said the boy’s defense attorney, Benjamin Brewer. “You have two people dead; you have an 8-year-old in jail. It tugs at the heart strings. It’s a shocker, no doubt about it.”

On Friday, a judge determined there was probable cause to show that the boy fatally shot his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos with a .22-caliber rifle. The boy faces two counts of premeditated murder.

Melnick said officers arrived at Romero’s home within minutes of the shooting Wednesday. They found one victim just outside the front door and the other dead in an upstairs room.

Romans had been renting a room at the Romero house, prosecutors said. The two men were employees with a construction company that had a contract to do work at the Salt River Project power plant near St. Johns, which is about 170 miles northeast of Phoenix.

The boy had went to a neighbor’s house and said he “believed that his father was dead,” said Apache County attorney Brad Carlyon. Police later obtained a confession from the boy, Melnick said.

Brewer said police overreached in questioning the boy without representation from a parent or attorney and did not advise him of his rights.

“They became very accusing early on in the interview,” Brewer said. “Two officers with guns at their side, it’s very scary for anybody, for sure an 8-year-old kid.”

The Arizona Republic: St. Johns boy, 8, suspected of double murder

Priest: Slain dad had taught boy, 8, to use guns

UPDATE I: VIDEO Confession by 8 Year Old Boy

What were police thinking? Interrogating a 3rd grader without the presence of a lawyer, parent or guardian!!! The police just made sure than nothing on the video, including the confession of the 8 year old to double murder will ever be allowed in a court of law.

In the grainy police interrogation video, the 8-year-old boy sits in a big leather chair as he makes a shocking statement: that he shot his father once, then a second time “so he wouldn’t suffer.”

The boy – whose name has not been released – was arrested Nov. 5 in St. Johns, Ariz., and charged with premeditated murder. But the newly-released video of his confession has stirred up a controversy. Experts question whether the third grader’s statement is legal because he was not read his rights and because no parent or guardian was present at the time.

Friday Poll Question Information: 8-Year-Old’s Confession Draws Fire

UPDATE II: Lawyers Drop One Murder Charge Against Boy Other Murder Charge Remains; Move Could Signal Cracks In Prosecution’s Case

The Apache County Attorney is seeking to dismiss one of two murder charges against an 8-year-old boy who is accused in the shooting deaths of his father and another man.

The motion filed late Friday seeks the dismissal of the first-degree murder charge stemming from the death of the boy’s father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero. The boy is also charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Tim Romans, Romero’s roommate.

The motion explicitly allows the refiling of the charge if it is granted.

The prosecutor’s office wouldn’t explain its actions. The boy’s defense attorney, Benjamin Brewer, declined to comment Friday, citing a gag order in the case.

Prosecutors Seek To Drop One Murder Charge Against 8-year Old Shooting Suspect

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

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  • Missing Maricopa, Arizona Couple, 44 Year Old Michael Careccia & 42 Year Old Tina Careccia, Bodies Found … Jose Valenzuela Arrested & Charged with First Degree Murder
  • Fast & Furious High Powered Assault Weapons Found in Mexico Drug Cartel Enforcer’s Home
  • Scared Monkeys Radio Daily Commentary – Thursday, November 20, 2008 – 8 Year Old Boy Accused Of Murdering His Father Released For Thanksgiving

  • Comments

    29 Responses to “8 Year Old Arizona Boy Accused of Killing Father and Another Man with 22 Caliber Rifle”

    1. yoyo muffintop on November 9th, 2008 3:05 pm

      From the AZ Republic today:
      Police Chief Roy Melnick said that the boy did not act on the spur of the moment, and that he planned and “methodically carried out the acts.”

      “I’m not accusing anybody of anything at this point,” he said. “But we’re certainly going to look at the abuse part of this. He’s 8 years old. He just doesn’t decide one day that he’s going to shoot his father and shoot his father’s friend for no reason. Something led up to this.

      It goes on further: “Defense attorney Mike Piccarreta, who is not involved in the latest case, said each case has to be considered on its own merits, but it would be hard for him to comprehend that an 8-year-old has the mental capacity to understand the act of murder and its implications.”

      What do you do with an 8 year old that premeditates murder?
      If there is no abuse found (mental/physical)
      do you lock an 8 year old in prison for the rest of his life?
      Very complicated, imo.

    2. michelle on November 9th, 2008 4:52 pm

      Very tragic situation…..

      I think it depends on the child’s mental condition…what made him think he had to kill?

    3. Fox Fire on November 9th, 2008 5:45 pm

      How sad…

      I worry about this situation in homes where there are guns and children being taught to use them at a very young age. Certainly, an eight-year old cannot conceive the finality of his acts.


      He sure is crying…

      His confession should not be used against him. He needs to go to his grandparents, as soon as possible, if possible; and they need to get him an attorney. They need to seek out the true God.




    4. txchic on November 9th, 2008 8:36 pm

      this reminds me of the 2 boys convicted of killing their father after years of abuse in rush springs oklahoma a number of years ago.

      imo this just wouldn’t happen in a normal home. there must have been abuse of some kind. perhaps the boy even suffered from some mental disorder in which the father failed to get him the proper help.

      at 8 he can surely get some sort of help.

    5. Fox Fire on November 10th, 2008 12:52 am

      I agree.

      Then, too, the law should treat the child as being mentally incapacitated… unable to defend himself under interrogation. Abused, or not, an eight-year-old child does not have the mental maturity to commit the crime of murder. There is no premeditation if the person contemplating the act does not have the thinking ability to know the difference between right and wrong.

      In my opinion, there are certain cases that should be treated as a private matter; and this is one of them. There is no child on this earth that deserves to be thrown into an adult system at the age of eight, no matter what he’s done. Nor should he be subjected to a juvenile system and thrown into an environment that will only serve to worsen the situation. It should be the responsibility of the family to see that this child is provided with all the help he needs to heal and, provide whatever is needed to see that he has the opportunity to grow into a happy adult.

      In the case of children,

      abandonment and isolation

      should never be used

      as a form of punishment.


      There is no righting this wrong…

    6. Sharon Chicago on November 10th, 2008 1:56 pm

      Why would an adult father teach his child 8 years old how to use a 22 caliber weapon?? That is nuts…the kid should have gotten a BB gun like his mother wanted him to have.

      I for one would have never let my husband or x-husband let my 8 year old have a 22 caliber.

      The article does not say what the priest told the father when he asked him about giving his son a 22 caliber to learn how to shoot wildlife.

    7. Sharon Chicago on November 10th, 2008 1:57 pm

      I feel sorry for the little guy…my nefew is 8 years old and I cannot imagine him every pulling the trigger… I wonder if he was abused!

    8. MawT on November 10th, 2008 6:42 pm

      Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. I simply cannot imagine what must have been going on in that family to cause an 8-yr. old to do such a thing. This isn’t about guns. This is about the dysfunction of this family, or this child. Taking a gun away from a killer won’t stop him from killing. He’ll just find another way.

    9. MawT on November 10th, 2008 6:48 pm

      I understand your thinking on this, but I would like to point out that his family can’t take the responsibility you spoke of. Your comment:

      “It should be the responsibility of the family to see that this child is provided with all the help he needs to heal and, provide whatever is needed to see that he has the opportunity to grow into a happy adult.”

      They have already failed him. They can’t fix it now.

    10. Fox Fire on November 11th, 2008 1:24 am

      Maw T:

      Perhaps there are alot of things that failed. But where there’s life, there is hope. This is an eight-year old child that can turn things around, given the right direction. Unfortunately, the State of Arizona would rather put him in a cage with people that will only make any problems, he has, worse. What this child needs is counseling, stability in the home, but most of all, forgiveness. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, but I have put those foolish things behind me. He deserves that chance, in my opinion.

      We hear all the time about making the parents responsible for the errors of the child, especially, in the area of gun control. This is an adult that made the tragic mistake of placing a gun in the hand of a child. If we are to believe in this legislation, then the father is, ultimately, responsibility for his consequences. But, once again, Arizona doesn’t have legislation that makes it illegal to make guns easily accessible to children. So, just as in other circumstances through which a parent fails his children, it is the child that, ultimately, suffers… and so, too, the people of Arizona.

      God bless the child…


    11. ANewGirl on November 11th, 2008 3:22 am

      #8 & #9- Maw T—Agree 100% !!! It is so true what you say about guns and the family.

      Very tragic and I hope that God is with this child and that someday he may have a chance at being rehabilitated for his crimes. He deserves another chance at life at such a young age.

    12. Rusty Bridges on November 11th, 2008 7:49 am

      The father may have shown him how to use a gun, what he didn’t do is teach him about guns. Safety is priority. Why wasn’t this gun locked up?

      Every child should be taught about the dangers of guns. They are in our society and they always will be. Even total gun bans will not remove all of the stolen and illegal guns. They are on our tv screens every night showing how effective they are solving problems, what you can’t convey in a 1hr show is the devastating effects an accidental shooting causes.

      Parents should be held responsible across the board. There is a lot more to think about when deciding to own a lethal weapon.

      Education is the key. Keep in mind that your children might be in someone elses house that has a gun also, or any setting for that matter.

      Every chid needs to taught about the dangers and what to do if they come across a gun. This needs to be taught at an early age so there is an instant reaction. I’m not talking gun usage but gun awareness.

    13. Karma by and for animals on November 11th, 2008 4:54 pm

      Did this father reap what he sowed ? He had taken this 8 year old out to shoot and kill innocent prairie dogs. What if this child was saddened, repulsed and damaged psychologically but was afraid to tell his father this, seeing as how he came from, ‘ a long line of hunters.’ Hunting is death, blood, slaughter of innocent animals (who are, by the way, rutting at this very time of year) and many people can never handle seeing this, not to mention skinning, field dressing the animal. Perhaps this child took out his torment in an act of revenge on his father for making him kill tiny prairie dogs – and not giving him a chance to move up the food chain to larger animals. It has happened before, probably won’t be the last time.

    14. Mary UK on November 12th, 2008 3:32 am

      Its really upsetting to read that this FATHER is being condemned for being an abuser without ANY proof, FFS what kind of society are we living in, everyone is too quick to jump to conclusions.

      Maybe the gun control in America needs looked at, i would NEVER live in a society where guns were so easily available.A few weeks ago a guy was trying to get into my house, it was a Sunday late afternoon, i was home alone with my two kids, the guy was obviously high on drugs, i nearly had a heart attack and if a gun had been on hand there is every chance i would have used it, BIG MISTAKE, a guy, with kids could have been DEAD, for what??? afterwards when i calmed down i realized that he WOULDNT have gotten in and i would have been more of a threat to HIM.

      I dont believe that an eight year old has NO CONCEPT of DEATH and MURDER, unless this kid is mentally retarded he should be locked up in a mental facility for a LONG time, would YOU want this kid living next door to YOU??? would YOU want him going to school with YOUR kid????

    15. Marcus on November 12th, 2008 3:42 pm

      It’s not criminals we need to worry about with guns, it’s ordinary kids (and adults) that go “postal”. You get the society that you want… and ours is crazy because we all want to act like cowboys? How come the rest of the world doesn’t have this problem!? See today’s post at: StopTheWorldIWannaGetOff.com

    16. Fox Fire on November 12th, 2008 9:34 pm


      Maybe eight year olds are more mature in the United Kingdom than they are here. But, a typical third-grader is still living in the years of, what child psychologists call, magical.

      I wouldn’t be afraid to live next door to this boy, as long as his father weren’t making loaded guns, easily, accessible to him. Nor do I worry about eight-year olds going “postal”. In my opinion, if he were, fully aware of the wrong he had done and the circumstances that would follow, he would not have ran to the neighbor for help.

      I agree with Rusty… In fact, I usually always do. But in this case I agree, wholeheartedly. It is the father that should be punished, not the child. However, I believe that this boy will need psychological help to get him through the trauma this incident has caused. The power of loving kindness, understanding and forgiveness is more powerful than any iron bar you could place in front of this boy.



      Have a HEART!


    17. Denise on November 18th, 2008 10:16 pm

      Am I the only one that thinks that maybe the boy is innocent? To “carefully plan and carry out” the murders of two adults, one being his father, who all sources say was very close to him, seems a bit much for one so young.

      Not to mention the fact that he was questioned by the police without an attorney or his mother present. Its very easy to lead a child into saying whatever you want them to, especially if they are already frightened. I just think there are too many things that don’t add up.

    18. JustSad on November 19th, 2008 12:25 am

      I just listened to the ‘confession’ and based on that alone, I’m about 100% convinced this little boy is innocent.

      And my heart breaks for him.

    19. Rebecca on November 19th, 2008 1:49 pm

      I saw the beginning of the interrogation of this child, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that this child did not commit this crime. I am so sure that I would be willing to move him into my home with my own children, and if I owned a gun I would not be one bit afraid that he would kill us all as we slept. Who knows how long that child was interrogated before he “confessed” There are adults who have been wrongly convicted of a crime because after hundreds of hours of interrogation they feel the only way out is to confess. Sombody needs to help this child!

    20. Kathy on November 25th, 2008 4:49 pm

      Everything in this situation is both heartbreaking and extremely speculative at this point…..but, didn’t I see that the non-custodial mother had a visit on the weekend prior to this happening? Perhaps the little boy was angered by the situation that the parents had placed him in…taking him away from his mother, replacing with a new step mother….All back to basics and home values..But again, only speculating in a very sad case.

    21. Grandmother of 8 Year Old Arizona Boy Who Killed Father & Friend Says Boy was “Capable” of Murder, Mom Says He Loved his Dad | Scared Monkeys on November 27th, 2008 7:03 am

      [...] this month we were presented with the shocking and unbelievable horror that an 8 year old St. Johns, AZ boy fatally shot his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy [...]

    22. not to mention the duck on December 2nd, 2008 5:42 pm

      i watched to news today they found this journal that the kid wrote marking down every time his dad hit him he said that if it ever reached 1000 that would be his limit

      this kid is 8 years old for a kid to do something like this there is something really wrong in his life something was going on that we do not know about

      and why would he shoot his dad’s friend what did he have to do with the whole thing was he beating the kid molesting him ( im not saying he did im just bring up possibilities )

      he may have premedatated this but that kid did it for a reason he did not just shoot his dad and say that was fun im going to shoot my dads friend now

      i do not believe that he should be tried as an adult inless they know all the facts and they know the kid is sane

    23. not to mention the duck on December 2nd, 2008 5:57 pm

      in response to Sharon Chicago i got a .22 when i was 9 but my dad kept guns locked up

      and i also agree with most of what Fox Fire said

    24. kathy on December 6th, 2008 4:44 am

      i truly beleive no 8 year old would or could plan a murder. they only know what their around. where was the mother. was boy abused all his little life. maybe physically, mentally, you never know what these poor children have to suffer. and usually their afraid to tell. police forget it could be their child setting in that chair and what was the reason. were they loved, taken care of, were the father and other man sexually abusing him, beating him. he is still a baby and needs a chance to grow up. fine out what this poor child had to go thru. probably a nightmare. it sounds like he needs someone around him that will love him and not always using him. find out what kind of cultural background he come from. what kind of people his parents and grand parents are. youll probably a mess, and this poor boy just happenened to be left with toomuch to even understand. he had to have a rough child hood. and needs a chance at life. to know gods love and have a chance. 1 8 year old, terrified and really dont evenn know nothing and saw nothing but bad in his life. i pray for him the the lord will help the little thing. have mercy upon him. god says what you do to the least of them you do to me. iam sure you will find a lot of abuse in his little short life. lord help him.

    25. sherry on December 10th, 2008 10:28 am

      I have read and heard all the comments for the last two months and find it hard to believe that the victims (without any proof) have become the guilty ones, that somehow they must of caused this to happen. The police from the very beginning have made a mess of this. When is the last time anyone has been able to view a confession tape of murder, BEFORE THE TRIAL, how does someone that is what 4 foot tall be able to reload a single shot rifle, without the two adults ( who do know about guns ) able to defend themselves? How does a whole nation make the victims out to be guilty of a crime that they cannot defend themselves from? Why, if the threat is gone, doesn’t the wife come forward and say yes, he did abuse his son? This has not happened so MAYBE, it did not happen. Do you people realize that these men did have family,s who are having a hard time with the untimely death of their loved ones, and can you imagine what it must feel like to hear now that not only are the dead, but now they are accused of abuse. Do you really think that if the father was abusive, that the wife and friend, who live with them, would allow a man to abuse his son? I don’t really think love and friendship are that strong. What happen to innocent until proven guilty? I think before everyone throws around accusations on what brought on this horrific event, we should wait and hope that the truth comes out. That maybe the legal system does work.

    26. D.A.M on December 23rd, 2008 1:17 am

      Im just wondering if this kid showed any remorse? Why did he also kill the room mate? It’s one thing to get a spanking…it’s another to be whipped by the father and possibly taunted by the room mate.
      i come from a very abusive family…and looking back…i guess my Dad was pretty lucky that we didnt turn on him. He would beat us and point guns at us and the police never really did anything to him. Maybe this kid tried to get some help and nobody listened to him either. Whatever the reason….he knows for sure…whether he ever tells anyone or not.
      he is going to be in desperate need of psychological help cause as he gets older he is either going to hate himself or go after more blood. What a sad situation to be in.

    27. Sharon Chicago on February 20th, 2009 12:11 pm

      #3 FireFox… I agree… The father probably taught this little guy to shoot the animal again to put it out of it’s misery and make sure it is dead.. He was way too young to be handling guns.

    28. Tawanna MccLARIN on February 20th, 2009 12:26 pm

      i think that is very sad because the little boy probably didnt know what he was doing because he was looking scared. Ithink they should put him in home for a about 5 years becauses he need to learn his lesson and i also think he did that on propose but why did he shoot them and why did he kill the other man. these are things i really need to find out

    29. John Candy on April 30th, 2009 8:36 am

      The little brat did do it on purpose. I don’t know what’s wrong with kids today, but they obviously know more than they are supposed to these days. Just because he’s an 8 year old kid doesn’t mean they should be light on him. I say they should try him as an adult. If he gets 10 to 12 years for murder, then he will be an adult when he gets out and will probably have the remainder of his adult life to think about what he did and will think twice before ever thinking of doing it again. Kids are just very young small people too.

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