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10-Year-Old Boy Confessed To Shooting Mom In Face For Refusing To Buy Him Virtual Reality Headset, Police Say

Milwaukee, WI – A 10-year-old boy accused of shooting his mother in the face for refusing to buy him a virtual reality headset has been charged as an adult.

The boy’s attorney urged the court to set his bail at just $100 on the murder charge, noting that the suspect has no money, WITI reported.

“My team and I have spoken with him about his ability to post anything,” public defender Angela Cunningham told the court, according to CBS News.

“He told us about piggy banks with savings that he had from gifts, from birthday gifts, and scavenging through cushions through the couch that he’s been able to save up,” Cunningham said.

But the argument failed to sway Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Jane Carroll, who ultimately set the boy’s bail at $50,000, WITI reported.

“The nature, number and gravity of the alleged offenses are significant,” Carroll said, according to WITI. “This is an extremely aggravated offense…The facts of this case warrant significant cash bail.”

The shooting occurred on Nov. 21 at the family’s home near Hemlock and 87th, according to police.

Investigators said the boy initially told them he shot his 44-year-old mother in the face by accident while twirling the gun on his finger, but that he later confessed to having shot her on purpose because she woke him up early and refused to buy him a virtual reality headset, CBS News reported.

“The bullet entered through the victim’s right eye, traveled through the victim’s brain, and then, bullet fragment(s) exited out the back side of the victim’s head through her skull,” court documents read, according to The Daily Beast. “The victim’s face had stippling on it, indicating that the gun was fired at the victim at close range.”

The boy also allegedly logged onto his mom’s Amazon account one day after the fatal shooting and ordered the virtual reality headset he’d been wanting, police said.

“When [the boy] saw his grandmother crying, he stated without any empathy or compassion: ‘I’m really sorry for what happened. I’m sorry for killing my mom,’” the criminal complaint read, according to The Daily Beast. “After apologizing for killing his mother, asked if his Amazon package arrived.”

He has been charged as an adult with alternate counts of first-degree reckless homicide or first-degree intentional homicide, CBS News reported.

The boy was initially placed with family members after the fatal shooting, but that changed after the family contacted police the following day and told them they were concerned the child has problems with rage, according to WITI.

He allegedly told one of his family members that after he got mad at his mother, he stole her keys and got into the locked safe where the gun was stored, WLS reported.

The boy allegedly told the relative that he planned to shoot the wall to scare his mother, but that she walked into the line of fire.

He was subsequently placed in a juvenile detention facility, CBS News reported.

The court was advised that none of the boy’s relatives have agreed to take him into their care if he is released from jail, according to WITI.

Police said one of the boy’s family members said they have been concerned about the suspect’s “rage” for years, WLS reported.

His relatives alleged he swung a puppy around by its tail when he was four, causing the animal to cry out in pain, according to police.

Family members said he also filled a balloon with a flammable liquid about six months ago, then lit it on fire and caused the carpet and a section of a couch to catch on fire, court documents read.

One family member allegedly told police that they “felt bad for not stepping in earlier…because they knew that eventually something bad was going to happen,” WLS reported.

“He’s always said that he hears voices,” the boy’s grandmother, Lueritha Mann, told The Daily Beast. “There’s two little girls inside his head telling him to do things. And he has an imaginary friend that will tell him to do really bad things.”

Mann said her daughter had gotten her grandson set up with a therapist, and that she received a lot of support from her family, church, and the school, but that nothing seemed to help.

The suspect will need to wear a GPS monitor and will be prohibited from leaving Milwaukee County if he is released, CBS News reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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