St. Johns boy to be sent to residential treatment facility

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

ST. JOHNS -- A 10-year-old eastern Arizona boy who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting his father's friend in November 2008 has been sentenced to a residential treatment program.

Judge Monica Stauffer had the option on Thursday of sending the St. Johns boy to a county facility. The length of the boy's stay in the program is unclear, but he'll also be placed on intensive probation until he turns 18.

The sentencing ends a 14-month saga that created a buzz in legal circles as experts questioned whether the boy had the mental capacity to understand the crimes.

The boy was 8 when he was charged in the shooting deaths of his father and his father's friend. He pleaded guilty to shooting the friend and the charges related to his father's death were dropped.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.