PHOENIX – Two 17-year-old boys are facing charges as adults for the murder of an elderly man.
“I don’t know what happen, I just know my son is in jail,” said Carl Roberts, the father of 17-year-old Brandon Roberts who, along with 17-year-old Nadeem Alferikh, is accused of killing 78-year-old Milton Raffle.
Raffle left home around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to take a walk in the park near 25th Avenue and Cactus. That’s where police say he ran into Roberts and Alferikh.
“Their purpose was to buy drugs and unfortunately Mr. Raffle was in the park at that time and it appears these individuals decided to rob him,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.
Police say it was a victim from another case that helped them piece it all together.
“This victim said I was burglarized and it was young people who hang out in the park, and in the course of that burglary among other things a .22 pistol was stolen,” Sgt. Thompson said.
Police executed three search warrants in the 1400 block of West Wood, 2000 block of West Monte Cristo Avenue and 15600 block of North 25th Avenue. Those searches led not only to the two arrests but to the gun.
“We believe Brandon Roberts took the pistol he had stolen in the burglary and shot and killed Mr. Raffle,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson. “After the shooting they went back to Brandon’s house, dismantled the pistol, and hid it in the attic,” said Sgt. Thompson.
Police say both suspects have admitted to the murder.
“You know you can only have so much control of your children when they get to be that age,” said Robert’s uncle Michael Hutchison. “We feel very sorry for the family. I would give up my life for that man right now but you know what is done is done.”
Brandon’s father says he also wishes he could change things. “I talked to him, he told the truth which was hard I mean he's only 17 and he's going to have to spend the rest of his life in jail and I don't know what to do about that,” said Carl Roberts.
Maricopa County Juvenile Court records reveal Roberts faced charges of threatening, intimidation, and disturbing the peace in 2002.
After a mental competency exam, the records say the charges were dropped. Roberts was classified not competent for trial.
A court search for Alferikh yielded no cases in Maricopa County.
Both 17 year olds are being tried as adults and face multiple charges including felony murder, attempted armed robbery, burglary and illegal possession of a firearm.
Police do not expect any other arrests in the murder case but say the burglary investigation is ongoing and involves as many as 5 juvenile suspects.