Grandmother of 8 Year Old Arizona Boy Who Killed Father & Friend Says Boy was “Capable” of Murder, Mom Says He Loved his Dad


Earlier this month we were presented with the shocking and unbelievable horror that Bizarrean 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 8 year old boy was charged with two counts of premeditated murder.

The double murder case has already taken some bizarre turns in that first police interrogated the 8 year old boy getting the minor to confess without having a lawyer, parent or guardian present. Then more recently the prosecutor looked to drop one of the murder counts against the 8 year old. Now, the grandparents of the 8 year old boy accused of the double murder stated that the boy was “capable” of committing such crimes.

In documents released Wednesday by the Apache County prosecutor’s office, St. Johns police Chief Roy Melnick said that Liz Romero, also known as Liz Castillo, shouted out angrily when she was told the boy would be arrested in the Nov. 5 killings.

“I knew this would happen,” she said. “They were too hard on (the boy). I knew (the boy) did it. He spent the night in my bed cuddling up to me. I had a feeling he did it. If any 8-year-old boy is capable of doing this it’s (the boy).”

The boy’s grandfather, Leroy Romero, echoed the statement and pushed his ex-wife to tell police more. But Melnick said she was overcome with emotion and he and another officer were asked to leave.

Before they did, Liz Romero said the boy’s stepmother, who he was living with, “had a feeling (the boy) did it.” as well.

The 8 year old boy’s defense attorney, Benjamin Brewer, stated that the boy’s grandmother likely was stressed and that he would interview her to see what she has to say. Actually Mr. Defense attorney, that is called an utterance. Usually what people have at the tip of their tongue is unrehearsed and true rather than the fabricated stories and attempts at creating plausible deniability that Defense liars are so known to do.

In an interview with Good Morning America, the boys mother Eryn Thomas stated that her son had a very good relationship with his father and loved his dad. The key word here is the use of the past tense of the word “loved”. Loved, good relationship? It is hard to believe that this could be the case when the end result is a double homicide.

“He had a very good relationship with his father,” the boy’s mother, Eryn Thomas, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He did a lot with him. They did everything together. He loved his dad.”

During the interview, Thomas listened to the videotape of the boy’s police confession and said she heard a “scared little boy. That’s what I hear. Someone who’s very afraid of what’s going on.”

 UPDATE I: Police: St. Johns boy vowed 1000th spanking would be limit

An 8-year-old St. Johns boy charged with double-homicide may have kept a written record of spankings by his parents, vowing that the 1,000th would be his limit, according to a police records released Friday.

A search affidavit by Sgt. Lucas Rodriguez says the child “is believed to have made ledgers and or communicated in the form of writings about his intentions. (The boy) told a CPS . . . worker that when he reached one thousand spankings . . . that would be his limit. (The boy) kept a tally of his spankings on a piece of paper.”

In a statement to police a day after the Nov. 5 killings, the boy said he had been spanked the day before the shootings because he did not complete a school assignment.

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  • Comments

    13 Responses to “Grandmother of 8 Year Old Arizona Boy Who Killed Father & Friend Says Boy was “Capable” of Murder, Mom Says He Loved his Dad”

    1. Jennifer on November 27th, 2008 8:39 pm

      If there is any thruth to this then the boy has been terrible abused and they should arrest the Step Mother, she lived there an certainly knew what was going on.

    2. Fox Fire on November 28th, 2008 2:50 am


      I could hear him crying ALL the way here!


      Someone from Europe posted that this boy must be retarded.

      Yes, there are many retarded people in the world…

      Many of them no more mature than an eight year old.

      This boy is a child.


      Obviously, the grandmother loves this child and can comfort him. She seems the most likely to get him the help he needs.

      Very Touching Story…


      I also agree with Jennifer. The step mother should be arrested for abuse in the home and for allowing an eight year old to possess a firearm…

      Definitely, a TIME OUT!

      Prison time-out!


      Set a PRECEDENCE!


    3. MBS on November 28th, 2008 9:07 am

      This is a horrible tragedy, but this little boy is 8 years old, he is a child, and I don’t believe an 8 year old can comprehend the finality of death, or truly understand the consequences of his actions. This boy needs treatment and care, but to talk about imprisoning him for the rest of his life is just barbaric. If you can’t rehabilitate an 8 year old, then who can you rehabilitate?

    4. Devan Roberts on November 30th, 2008 12:48 pm

      It isn’t about the age of this child. It is about what THIS child was capable of doing. He is no normal eight year old. He is cunning, predatory and has the ability already to store such internal rage at his young age. Just because he has two murders already under his belt doesn’t mean there will not be more if he goes untreated or unpunished.

      Society does not need this weird problem child dumped back into the population. He has done nothing but lie over and over again, since the beginning and he just keeps on lying some more. The 1000 spankings is absurd. It shows how his mind thinks with such grandiose thoughts. Everything he has uttered is beyond the normal tales of most 8 year olds.

    5. Bre on December 1st, 2008 1:52 pm

      Alright, even though the boy is only 8 years old. he knew what he was doing. he knows what death is and he knows what guns can do. its not that he couldnt comprehend it, he knew very well what was going on. if that were an adult that did that, they would have the death penalty. but an 8 year old boy, he’ll be out when he turns 18 years old. he deserves prison. he killed his own father. and he knew what he was doing. and this is coming from a teenager.

    6. Kathryn Borkowski on December 2nd, 2008 12:31 am

      I am concerned about the changes in the life of this young boy, a new step mother, a mother that doesn’t live with the son, a man renting a room at the home of his parents, A boy has been taught to fire guns at a young age. If this boy had a close relationship with his father, than all these other people coming into the picture must have had a negative effect on the father and son’s relationship. I would investigate further to find out about the personal relationship between the new wife, the friend and the absent mother. A grandmother should not be cuddling up to an eight year old in bed. Something is terribly wrong here. Bottom line a young boy should not have that much access to weapons of any kind, The adults are responsible for the outcome of this nightmare.

    7. mose on December 2nd, 2008 5:22 pm

      That is insane why would he kill his own father that is my question?

    8. Jlb on December 3rd, 2008 1:12 pm

      This boy is 8 years old a 3 grader! His father TAUGHT him how to use that gun!! Sadly now he father is dead and that is truly tragic!Confession does anyone know that the confession must be knowingly and intelligently given.. An 8 yr can not do that. Read the research! Premediated murder this is all insane. And for the comment that this boy is cunning and predatory that is truly an idiotic comment. The boy has no history of issues in school or mental health history. He knows what death is?? On T.V he watches someone die and the next day the person is alive again. Prision is NOT a place for the boy!! How can anyone compare a BOY to an adult. Many comments posted I would urge the people making such insane comments to be educated or get educated. Kids do not just get out of prision at 18 years old any more for a crime they committed as a CHILD.If that person even understood this case they would know that the police are looking to charge him as an adult. This case is so sad!!! I would agree the changes in the boys life spark many red flags!!

    9. not to mention the duck on December 4th, 2008 9:53 am

      how do you charge an 8 year old as an adult the step mom needs to be investegated more because something was going on in that house the boy needs help but i do not believe prison for the next 30 years would do him any good at all

    10. Liz from montana on December 13th, 2008 11:51 am

      Obviously this child needs help he was spanked a thousands times he kept record l have read in the clipping. The grandmother said he is capable of murder and if she knew he was this troubled then she should have suggested to the parents to get help for him.As a parent and Grandmother l feel strongly that there was a lot going on that you and l do not know. A childs mind does not function as an adult. How many of us have receved a thousand spankings at that young age? Lets have some compassion and prayers for him.

    11. LAURIE on December 23rd, 2008 1:09 pm


    12. david on December 24th, 2008 12:27 am

      u people gota understand he is only eight years old but I work around kids all day and their not as dumb as older people want to believe he knew what killing would do to his father. u people just gotta stop being so blind. for christ sake he told the police he didn’t want them to suffer, u think about it

    13. Tina on July 6th, 2009 1:29 pm

      Arresting the stepmother only teaches the boy that he can do whatever he wants and someone else will pay the consequences. The boy understood enough of his actions to know that it was causing his father to suffer — he was fully aware of the end result of his actions. To not administer legal consequences fitting of his actions (regardless of his age) only sends the loud message to him and his generation that they can do whatever they feel at the moment and not be held accountable. Dangerous message.

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