Police stir controversy by releasing a video interview of an Arizona boy saying he shot his dad

By Chris Willard
Updated November 20, 2008 11:55 AM

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/js/2.0/video/evp/module.js?loc=dom&vid=/video/crime/2008/11/19/am.feyerick.boy.confession.cnnEmbedded video from CNN Video
In the grainy police interrogation video, the 8-year-old boy sits in a big leather chair as he makes a shocking statement: that he shot his father once, then a second time “so he wouldn’t suffer.”

The boy – whose name has not been released – was arrested Nov. 5 in St. Johns, Ariz., and charged with premeditated murder. But the newly-released video of his confession has stirred up a controversy. Experts question whether the third grader’s statement is legal because he was not read his rights and because no parent or guardian was present at the time.

In the interview, the boy initially tells police he found the body of Tim Romans, 39, a boarder who rented a room at his house, and then ran through the building shouting for his father, Vincent Romero, 29, who was lying dead upstairs.

“There was blood all over his face, I think, and I think I touched it,” he tells officers in the video. The boy says he prodded his father’s body with his foot “to see if he was a little bit alive” and then sat by the body and cried for half an hour.

Later, as the officers continue to question his story, the boy confesses to shooting both men.

But some experts say the boy’s words should not be used against him. “The law enforcement conduct in this case is inexplicable: from interrogating a third-grader without the presence of a parent or other adult to releasing an inflammatory videotape before a trial,” legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told CNN.

While he is currently being held in juvenile jail, the boy will be released for 48 hours starting Nov. 26 to spend Thanksgiving with his mother.

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