Texas Boy Admits Killing Man When He Was 7

Authorities say boy, now 10, was too young at the time to be charged with murder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2024 6:40 PM CDT
Texas Boy Admits Killing Man When He Was 7
   (Getty Images/Motortion)

Authorities in Texas say a 10-year-old boy who was questioned about a threat to kill another student made a chilling confession. In a news release, the Gonzales County Sheriff's Office said the boy told investigators he had killed a man in an RV park in early 2022, a week before his eighth birthday. The boy "provided information that was consistent with first-hand knowledge of the homicide of Brandon Rasberry," the sheriff's office said. The boy told investigators that while he was visiting his grandfather in Nixon, Texas, he took a gun from his grandfather's truck, entered Rasberry's RV, and shot the sleeping 32-year-old in the head, CNN reports. He said he then returned the pistol to his grandfather's truck.

"When asked, the child stated he had never met Brandon, and did not know who he was although he had observed him walking around the RV earlier in the day," the sheriff's office said. "The child was also asked if he was mad at Brandon for some reason or if Brandon had ever done anything to him to make him mad, the child stated no." Sheriff's officials said they tracked the grandfather's gun to a pawn shop and determined that it was the firearm used in the murder. The office said that "because of the severity of the crime and because of the continued concern for the child's mental wellbeing," he was placed on a 72-hour emergency detention and taken to a psychiatric hospital in San Antonio.

The boy is now in juvenile detention for the threat to the student—but the age of criminal culpability in Texas is 10, meaning he can't be charged with murdering Rasberry. Rasberry's brother, Jonathan Fojtik, says the family is shocked by the development and plans to keep fighting for justice. "Finding out it was a 7-year-old that committed the murder, a senseless murder at that, it's just tragic. It's kind of hard to wrap your head around," he tells KENS5. "Brandon was a loving person. He'd give the shirt off his back for anyone." He adds: "I feel like the boy knew exactly what he was doing. Why wasn't the child being supervised more?" (More Texas stories.)

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