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Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept. 

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  #1  
Old 02-08-2012, 03:46 AM
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Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept.

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A 12-year-old girl who shot her father dead while he was sleeping acted in self defense after years of sexual abuse, a jury has found.

The girl from Katy, Texas grabbed Mark Nelson's gun from under his mattress and shot the 38-year-old in the back of the head in April 2009.



But after four days of deliberation, a jury cleared the girl, now 15, of murder, believing she had been choked and sexually abused by her father.

In the three week trial, her attorneys insisted she ended the years of physical and sexual abuse after he watched her bathing inside a tub.

The girl told her father to leave the bathroom and he said she would regret it. Her attorneys claimed she feared for her safety so shot him.

But prosecutors had claimed the girl thought her father was too strict.

They noted that she had never mentioned the abuse before the murder, or even shortly after.

But Houston psychiatrist Dr George Glass, testified that it is not uncommon for a child to lie about physical and sexual abuse, ABC News reported.


Scene: The girl allegedly shot her father after he watched her bathing and she asked him to leave. He said she would regret it and she feared for her safety

At first, jurors were divided, with four believing she had not acted in self defence.

'I saw from the beginning that she did have some abuse and that made it an easy decision,' juror Yvette Cardenas told the Chronicle.

'We had people who agreed and some who didn't - and trying to change their minds was very hard.'

She added that the jury repeatedly returned to evidence that Nelson had choked the girl in an incident before the fatal shooting - as well as choking two other women on separate occasions.

'That was the one that made everyone believe he was a violent man and that she was scared for her life,' she said.

After the verdict, the girl - who had faced a jail term of 40 years if convicted - and her family embraced each other and jurors.


Relief: Mother Miranda Jackson said she was glad to take her daughter hom


Anger: Nelson's mother Leona said she would never forgive her granddaughter

Her maternal grandmother Diane Jackson said the family was relieved that the girl could return home with her mother.

'We're very happy. We already knew she wasn't guilty. She wasn't guilty; not for the things that had happened to her,' Jackson told KTRK-TV.

But Mark Nelson's mother - the girl's paternal grandmother - said she was outraged at the decision.

Leona Nelson told the news channel: 'She's been set free so she can do whatever she wants on the streets.

The girl is attending high school and told KTRK-TV she is planning on going to college, perhaps to become an attorney.
ORIGINAL STORY

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:11 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

what next? my best friend abused me by looking at my boyfriend so i stabbed her 2994 times?

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  #3  
Old 02-08-2012, 04:14 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

There is something fishy about this. Seems there is a lot of skepticism surrounding it. I know there are many false claims of abuse to get back at a parent and Im wondering if this isnt truly the case.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:22 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

there is something so off about this story to me. i base it on nothing more than a hunch. what do i know? it seems like a growing number of kids are unable to control their impulses. judgement compass off course. you know what i mean? i know abuse is often cited as a reason for this type of crime. but in a case here in arizona, abuse was determined not to have been a factor. just seems suspicious.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:23 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

source:
An 8-year-old Arizona boy charged with premeditated murder in the deaths of his father and another man shot each victim at least four times with a .22-caliber rifle, methodically stopping and reloading as he killed them, prosecutors said Monday.

Although investigators initially said they thought the boy might have suffered severe physical or sexual trauma, they have found no evidence of abuse, said Roy Melnick, the police chief in St. Johns, Ariz., where the shootings occurred. Psychologists say such abuse is often a factor in the extremely rare instances in which a small child murders a parent.

An investigation found no evidence that the boy had had disciplinary problems at school or shown signs that he was troubled, Chief Melnick said. “That’s what makes this case somewhat puzzling,” he said, adding that the court had ordered a psychological evaluation for the boy. “Our goal is to get him some help.”

Kathleen M. Heide, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida, said the odds of such killings “are so infinitesimal, it’s really hard to even comprehend.”

From 1976 to 2005, there were 62 cases in the United States in which a 7- or 8-year-old was arrested on murder charges, said Dr. Heide, who analyzed F.B.I. data. Only two of those cases involved a child killing a parent. Children younger than 7 who commit killings are not charged in most states.

In cases in which a child kills a parent, the child is typically a teenager and usually acts for one of three reasons, psychologists say. Most often, the child has suffered years of physical or sexual abuse. Others kill because of severe mental illness. And some have extreme antisocial or psychopathic tendencies — a child who is used to getting his way and kills out of anger.

“The wrinkle here,” Dr. Heide said, “is that this boy is so young, it could possibly be immaturity and impulsivity.” In children as young as 8, parts of the brain that weigh decisions and consequences are so underdeveloped that a child might not understand the finality of death.

The boy in Arizona was no stranger to weapons — his father, an avid hunter, reportedly trained his son to shoot prairie dogs — and psychologists said that might have played a role.

The shootings occurred Wednesday afternoon in the two-story home in St. Johns, about 200 miles northeast of Phoenix, where the boy lived with his father, Vincent Romero, 29. The deputy attorney for Apache County, Brad Carlyon, said Monday that the boy was taken to the police by his grandmother and initially considered a victim because he was believed to have discovered the men’s bodies.

But about 45 minutes into an hourlong police interview, Mr. Carlyon said, the boy confessed to shooting his father and a man who rented a room in the house, Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos, Ariz.

Mr. Carlyon said the boy told the police that he had been spanked at home the night before because he was having trouble at school. But, the prosecutor said, the boy “did not say that was the reason he committed any of the acts.”

Prosecutors said the murder weapon was a single-action .22-caliber hunting rifle that requires reloading before each shot. “He had to eject the shell from the rifle and put in a new shell each time he fired,” Mr. Carlyon said.

Mr. Carlyon and Chief Melnick spoke to The New York Times shortly before an Apache County judge placed a gag order on lawyers and the police a little before noon Monday.

Mr. Romero, who was divorced from the boy’s mother, had recently remarried and had custody of his son. Mr. Romero was the first victim, investigators said, shot in the head and chest as he walked up a staircase inside the house shortly after 5 p.m.

Mr. Romans was outside the house talking on his cellphone to his wife, Mr. Carlyon said, when he heard some commotion inside. Mr. Carlyon said the rifle produced only a “muffled, soft popping” sound, making it likely that Mr. Romans had no idea what had happened inside. Mr. Carlyon said Mr. Romans had told his wife that the boy was calling for him. He was on the porch on his way into the house when he was shot in the chest and head, the authorities said.

The police arrived at the house one minute after receiving a phone call from a neighbor at 5:08 p.m., Chief Melnick said. Both men were dead. The chief said the boy was not immediately taken into custody. “He was considered a witness,” Chief Melnick said.

A secretary for the boy’s lawyer, Benjamin Brewer, said Mr. Brewer was in court all day Monday and could not be reached for comment. Mr. Brewer has said that neither he nor the boy’s family was present for the questioning and that the boy was not read his rights. He is being held at the Apache County Juvenile Detention Center.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:24 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

Totally agree and I was curious about what others would think. Been sitting here all night reading up on cases and so many break my heart. Im just unsure about this and feel horrible for doubting a child but I just dont know.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:28 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

i see everything with a super dose of skepticism these days.


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Old 02-08-2012, 04:28 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

Scary thought that kids are getting upset at parents and firing away. I wonder how often this has occurred in other times and if it isnt just that the media is finally covering these with the aide of the internet to get every case some recognition? A part of me feels as though it is due to some kind of parental/ child alienation that is happening now, where the bond just isnt what it used to be due to decreased one on one time. I know that may sound silly but when parents and children only have minimal actual interaction, it does strange things to the bond.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:29 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

what triggers me is the no prior reports of abuse.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:31 AM
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Re: Girl, 12, is CLEARED of Murder After She Shot Her Father with His Gun As He Slept

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Originally Posted by Creepy View Post
what triggers me is the no prior reports of abuse.
Well if it were prolonged abuse the child should have displayed some kind of outer signals to relatives and teachers. Even if nothing had been followed up on there still should have been many suspicious people come forward.

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