A 14-year-old boy was charged and sentenced as an adult for the Colorado murder of his mother and step-father, according to The Valley Courier. The boy, who was reported to have been repeatedly abused and neglected by his mother, shot and killed his mother, and then his step-father on October 26, 2009, with firearms owned by his step-father. The boy was represented by public defenders in the complicated two-year court case, which prompted criticisms concerning the failure of the child welfare system, and the justice system.
The boy, who expressed remorse in a public statement, explained that his actions against his mother were the result of repressed anger after years of abuse by her hands. He shot her twice and then hid in the laundry room. He shot and killed his step-father out of fear of what he would do to him once he discovered that he killed his mother. A psychologist who evaluated the boy stated that it was the worst case of abuse he had ever seen. Even after years of abuse and repeated calls to social services, the child welfare system failed to help him.