Local teen said his dad was his ‘hero’ as he was sentenced for murdering him
EAGLE — A 14-year-old boy said he “loved his dad.” Now the boy has to work to understand why he killed his father.
One part of the boy’s saga ended Thursday morning in District Judge Fred Gannett’s courtroom with his 10-year sentence in connection with April’s shooting. The next part of that saga will play out in a juvenile detention facility.
The boy starts with seven years in youth prison, followed by three years in adult prison, where he’ll be transferred on his 21st birthday. He will serve another two years of parole.
‘His dad was his best friend’
On Tuesday, the boy admitted murdering his father. Thursday’s sentencing hearing was his first and only statement.
One of the boy’s attorneys, Norene Simpson from the public defenders office, read his statement to the court.
“The most important thing he wants the court to know is that he loved his dad,” Simpson read. “He was the person in the world he loved the very most. He wants the people here to know he was a good man, a good dad, and he really was his hero.”
District Attorney Bruce Brown tried to shed a little light on the most vexing question: Why would a 13-year-old boy do something like this?
“A child does not stop being a child just because a crime has been committed,” said Reed Owens, one of the boy’s defense attorneys. “There is simplicity and complexity that none of us may ever know.”
The boy and his father lived in Gypsum and the boy committed an act of vandalism — graffiti, Brown said. The police contacted the boy’s father and invited him and his son to speak with them about it.
On a camping trip, the boy denied to his father having done it, Brown said.
“Having gone to that police interview would have meant he did it, then lied about it,” Brown said.
While the guilty plea ends the case, “We are left with an imperfect sentence,” Brown said. “At some other level he is haunted and continues to be haunted by something none of us can get a hold on.
“We hope that through rehab, reflection and self-growth, we hope that when this child gets into this box again, he finds another way out.”
Gannett praised attorneys from both sides for coming up with such a creative and “topical” sentence.
The boy did not react as Gannett handed down the sentence.
“The next three years are frankly a test, whether what you have learned will be beneficial and applicable,” Gannett said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.