St. Johns boy's confession won't be used

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azfamily.com

UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 6

Key evidence thrown out by judge

ST. JOHNS, Ariz. -- Prosecutors in Apache County have agreed not to use statements made by a 9-year-old St. Johns boy as they pursue murder charges against him.

The boy's defense lawyers had asked a judge to throw out the reported confession, arguing that he was illegally questioned without an attorney or family member present.

In court documents released today, prosecutors agreed not to use the statements unless the boy takes the stand in his own defense and contradicts them. Prosecutors said their decision doesn't mean they agree the statements were illegally obtained.

The boy's accused of using a rifle to shoot his father and another man on Nov. 5 at the family home.

Also today, the boy was in court again for a brief status conference. Defense attorney Benjamin Brewer pressed the judge to allow the boy to have a photo of his mother in his cell but the judge didn't immediately rule on the request.

The boy's mother had been visiting him regularly, but lives in another state and has returned home. Brewer has said the boy is having a difficult time adjusting.

Brewer also appeared frustrated when Judge Michael Roca said he had concerns about an amended request for the boy to have a therapist. Roca has twice rejected defense requests for a therapist, saying he was worried about several aspects of the proposed arrangement.

Brewer suggested that Roca make whatever changes he felt necessary in the request.

The judge has said he won't rule on "substantive issues" until he decides if the boy is competent to stand trial.

3TV's Mike Watkiss is in St. Johns and will be following the story all day.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Gunshot residue found on clothing of Arizona boy

FLAGSTAF -- Gunshot residue was found on the clothing of an Arizona boy charged in the deaths of his father and another man, but a report on the examination doesn't specifically identify the boy as the shooter.

The report released by prosecutors Monday says the boy might have come into contact with a discharged firearm or was in close proximity to a firearm.

Lead, barium and antimony, known to be associated with primer gunshot residue, were found on a pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt belonging to the boy.

Police have said the boy used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot his father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero, and 39-year-old Timothy Romans in St. Johns on Nov. 5.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)