Although this article doesn't spell it out, it was a custodial dad that the boy killed, along with dad's "roommate." All charges against the boy have been dropped, due to a psychiatric report that has been sealed by court order. However, there are hints that severe child abuse had something to do with the boy defending himself against the two men. In this article, we have an UNNAMED DAD, but other news reports have given the names.
Judge sets sentencing for 9-year-old Ariz. boy
08:17 AM MST on Friday, July 17, 2009
By FELICIA FONSECA / Associated Press Writer
ST. JOHNS, Ariz. (AP) -- A prosecutor said Thursday that psychiatric reports explain why a 9-year-old eastern Arizona boy killed his father's roommate.
But the reports have been sealed by court order, and Apache County Attorney Michael Whiting declined to discuss the contents.
"It has shed light on why this occurred, so we feel there is an answer to that question," Whiting said after a hearing at which a Sept. 22 sentencing date was set.
Police reports have hinted at a possible motive, saying the boy told a state Child Protective Services worker that his 1,000th spanking would be his last.
Apache County Superior Court Judge Michael Roca set the sentencing date months after the boy struck a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to one count of negligent homicide in the death of his father's roommate.
Prosecutors dropped charges against the boy in his father's death.
Whiting said he's been inundated with comments from community members who are divided about punishment.
"I've received everything from 'the child should be put back into society with no legal action' to 'he should be incarcerated for the rest of his life,'" Whiting said. "There's been no shortage of opinions."
Roca had been unable to schedule the sentencing without the psychiatric reports, which were submitted to the court and attorneys last week.
The boy was 8 years old when he was arrested in the Nov. 5 shootings. Police never have discussed a motive, and the boy wasn't asked in court to explain why he fatally shot 39-year-old Timothy Romans.
Under the plea deal, the boy won't serve any time in the state juvenile corrections facility, but he could be sentenced to a county jail. Treatment and probation are other options Roca can consider.
Roca gave the juvenile probation department 60 days to come up with a sentencing recommendation.
The Associated Press has withheld the name of the boy because of his age.
No attorney in the case said directly they would prefer the boy to be in jail over other options.
Defense Benjamin Brewer has said he would like to see his client receive intensive probation with outpatient treatment that would allow his mother to leave St. Johns.
The boy has been out of custody on his latest furlough since late January. He currently is living with his mother, Eryn Bloomfield, and his paternal grandmother, Liz Castillo, at a St. Johns residence.
Bloomfield's attorney, Steve Williams, said his client is pleased that the case is progressing and that it soon will wrap up.
"We just want to move on, move on with his life and her life," Williams said. "I think they are a little tired of being in the spotlight, especially for this."