In the wake of a frightening and grisly crime, a court in the state of Washington has leveled criminal charges against a teenage boy for the murder of his sleeping father.
According to KOMO News in Olympia Washington, the boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, has been accused of second-degree murder after he allegedly shot his father in the head with a rifle.
Sources indicate that prosecutors have brought second-degree murder charges against the 13-year-old boy, but that detectives believe they have enough evidence to charge him with first-degree murder.
The difference between these two degrees of murders turns on the level of premeditation used by the alleged murdered. If, for example, prosecutors can prove that the boy planned the murder well in advance, they may be able to bring first-degree murder charges.
In fact, before his arrest, detectives claim there was evidence suggesting that the boy had carefully plotted the shooting of his father.
The details of the shooting are truly gruesome. Sources indicate that the boy allegedly snuck up beside his sleeping father, pointed a rifle at the back of his head, and pulled the trigger.
Apparently, the father’s girlfriend, who was sleeping next to him in the same bed, did not hear the fatal shot because she was wearing ear plugs. According to sources, the girlfriend woke up roughly 40 minutes later when she “felt something wet on her arm,” which proved to be blood.
In a 911 call, the fathers girlfriend says that she “just woke up and my arm’s covered in blood.” She then said that her boyfriend was bleeding and not waking up, and that he looked “awful.”
While the story sounds extremely macabre, there seem to be two conflicting theories about what happened that night. Several of the different stories come from the boy himself.
According to court documents, the boy first told investigators that he had heard loud noises coming from his father’s bedroom, which he interpreted as his father shooting at him.
After telling this story, the boy later changed his mind and told detectives that it was all a terrible accident—something had bumped his arm and caused him to accidentally shoot his father.
As the court will try to sort out what really happened that night, the boy does seem to have the support of some of his family.
After the shooting, the boy called his mother for help, and his family has publicly stated that they believe the teenager didn’t mean to cause any harm to his father.
If, indeed, the boy is able to prove that the shooting was an accident, he may be able to escape a life in prison. This, however, seems unlikely, as his criminal defense attorney certainly has a tough task ahead.