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Teen Arrested in Brother's Killing Ordered Held

Teen Arrested in Brother's Killing Ordered Held

Posted - Sep. 15, 2004 at 7:53 a.m.



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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- The 13-year-old boy arrested last weekend in the shooting death of his 16-year-old brother has been ordered kept in confinement pending further action in the case.

John Colby Johnson was shot to death Saturday afternoon at the family's apartment in Roy. Police said the gun used to shoot Johnson three times had been stolen about a week earlier from relatives, who did not notice it missing.

The 13-year old reported the shooting and was booked into the Weber Valley Detention Center in Roy on suspicion of homicide.

Charges are expected later this week, and may include theft of a firearm.

Weber County Attorney Mark DeCaria said Tuesday that it still had not been decided whether to seek to have the boy tried as an adult, but there is little enthusiasm to do so because of the boy's age.

Following the probation officers' recommendation, 2nd District Juvenile Judge Mark Andrus decided at Tuesday's detention hearing to keep the boy incarcerated.

He also found him eligible for a public defender, and he scheduled a status conference for Sept. 21.

Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham said Sunday that the victim apparently had struck his younger brother in the leg with a stick, causing a welt, and chased him. The boy retrieved the stolen .22-caliber handgun and shot his brother, police allege.

Whinham said police had responded to the apartment once before, reportedly because the brothers were fighting, with the older boy the aggressor.

Bullying is thought likely to be an issue in the case and it is being addressed at Roy Junior High, where the younger boy was a student.

Rene Crump, a counselor at Roy Junior High, said the student body's reaction Monday to the shooting was "somber, very somber."

She said members of the Weber School District's crisis intervention team were on the campus Monday to provide counseling.

Crump said all students were given letters for their parents on the school's anti-bullying program, which urges victims to report it in order to get help.

Crump said the 13-year-old and his fellow seventh-graders were all new at the school, with classes under way less than three weeks.

"Hopefully, we could have done some interventions (regarding bullying)," she said. "Sadly, it's one of those situations where you wonder, 'What if?"'

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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