By: Bruce Harrison
MILWAUKEE (WTMJ) — The 10-year-old charged with shooting and killing his mother made his first in-person appearance in court on Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors have charged him as an adult with two counts: first-degree reckless homicide, or, in the alternative, first-degree intentional homicide. The first count carries a prison sentence of 60 years. The second carries a sentence of life.
In the state of Wisconsin, once a child turns 10 and is charged with homicide, the case is sent automatically to adult court.
On Wednesday, deputies walked him into the courtroom wearing detention center-issued clothing (a red t-shirt and khaki slacks). He was not shackled, and the judge said he’ll remain unrestrained unless his behavior changes.
The defendant nodded when asked questions by Judge Jane Carroll and spoke only three times, saying: “Yes. Yes. Not really.” For most of the hearing, he sat quietly looking down.
According to a criminal complaint, the boy was allegedly mad at his mom for waking him up early and not letting him have something on Amazon.
On Wednesday, his attorneys argued that the court drop the count of reckless homicide, essentially saying it’s redundant. The defense has until the end of the month to file a motion on dropping the count.
The boy’s attorneys also asked that his bail be reduced from $50,000 to $100, saying that’s all the money the boy has.
“We have spoken to him about his ability to post anything. He told us about piggy banks with savings that he had from savings, from gifts, from birthday gifts, and scavaging through cushions for cash,” said Defense Attorney Angela Cunningham.
The judge, citing the aggressive nature of the crime, and concerns about where the boy would go, denied a reduced bail. She also ordered that he remain in Milwaukee County if bailed out.
The defense waived their right to a speedy preliminary hearing for additional discovery. That hearing would normally be held within 10 days. It’s now been scheduled for Jan. 19.
This story was originally published Dec. 14 by WTMJ in Milwaukee, an E.W. Scripps Company.