Judge removed from St. Johns murder case

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ST. JOHNS, Ariz. -- The judge has been removed in the case of a 9-year-old St. Johns boy at the center of last year's bizarre double homicide in that small eastern Arizona community.

The boy, who entered a plea deal earlier this year confessing to one of the two shootings, still must be sentenced. But now the judge who has handled the case from the very beginning -- Michael Roca -- has been removed.

Lawyers representing the child had asked that Roca be removed after the judge indicated in open court that he may send the boy to the Department of Juvenile Corrections.

The plea deal the boy entered into calls for probation and treatment, not incarceration.

A new judge will be appointed. This could delay a final sentencing for the boy until after the new year.