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Old 03-07-2011, 01:14 PM
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Default 2 People Killed In Burlington, Colorado

DENVER — Ultimately, experts say, the stunned citizens of the farm town on Colorado's far eastern plains will be offered a probable explanation for the slayings of a churchgoing couple, allegedly by their 12-year-old son.
Resolution is another matter.
"People have a very difficult time understanding what happened," said Paul Mones, a Portland, Ore., children's rights attorney and author of the book, "`When a Child Kills."
"`There's a rhyme and reason in these cases," Mones said. "It may not be a settling one or an acceptable one."
He added, "The genesis typically is not what happened to the child that day or the day before."
Charles Long, a snack delivery driver and elder at Burlington's Evangelical Free Church, and his wife, Marilyn, director of the church's children's ministry, were found fatally shot inside their modest home near the Kansas state line on Tuesday. Their 12-year-old son – a volunteer greeter at the church – was in custody, facing possible first-degree murder and other charges.
Also wounded were the boy's 5-year-old sister and a 9-year-old brother. Both are expected to recover.
Prosecutor Robert Watson has declined to say what actual charges may have been filed, citing a gag order in the case. Watson said he has filed paperwork with the court in Burlington, a town of 3,700 people along Interstate 70 about 140 miles east of Denver.
Watson had said he hadn't decided whether to prosecute the boy as an adult. The difference could mean decades in prison without parole or treatment at a juvenile facility and release in a few years.
Story continues below
Experts who specialize in similar cases say there often is some type of abuse, anti-social behavior or mental health issue underlying those cases. But in Burlington, friends and family insist none of those factors played a part in the life of the Long family, which included seven children, four of them grown.


Kathleen Heide, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, has studied the phenomenon for decades. And by studying FBI crime data from 1976 to 2007, Heide estimates there were more than 1,900 cases nationwide of children 17 and under killing a parent.
What makes the Burlington case unusual is that it may have involved attacks on parents as well as younger siblings, said Heide, who wrote a 1994 book titled, "Why Kids Kill Parents." She said motives generally differ between attacks on parents and attacks on siblings.
In cases of a child killing a parent, Heide said, perpetrators often are motivated by fear or terror, a protective instinct for another parent or a sibling, or a sense that a parent is getting in the way of inappropriate behavior. Other factors include mental health issues or adverse reactions to a drug, Heide said.
In attacks on siblings, motivations can include rivalry or jealousy and a desire to strike at a parent through the death of a child, Heide said. But she added that such attacks are rare because of the prevalence of strong bonds between siblings and, in the case of younger children, their vulnerability.
"It's such an usual event and it's such an extreme event," Heide said of the initial allegations in the Burlington case.
Friends and family described the boy as a good kid, more outgoing than his peers, someone who would volunteer at Evangelical Free Church as a greeter, hand out church bulletins, help with audio and visual equipment and run PowerPoint presentations during services. He helped other children with their Bible verses.
Wally Long of Springfield, Mo., said he spoke with Charles, his brother, at least once a month and that there was no sign of trouble in the home, where Marilyn Long homeschooled the children.
"They loved their kids tremendously. It was their life. I mean, they have seven of them," Long said in an interview with Denver's KMGH-TV that was distributed to local media.
"Their life was wrapped around their kids."
Burlington, Co Family's Shooting Death Baffles Experts, Town


Authorities in Kit Carson County are investigating an incident that has left two people dead and two injured. The Kit Carson Coroner’s Office identified the two fatal victims as Charles Long, 50, and Marilyn Long, 51. Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokesman Steve Johnson said a 12-year-old boy made the 911 call around 6:40 p.m. on Tuesday, saying at least three people had been shot.
Story: 2 Killed in Burlington identified as married couple
Burlington, Colorado Murder


Burlington 12-year-old charged with 2 counts of murder

10:56 PM, Mar 4, 2011 | Written by

Jeffrey Wolf
Written by

Matt Flener
Written by

Cheryl Preheim
Juvenile court expert
BURLINGTON - A 12-year-old boy has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder after his parents were found dead in his home earlier this week. No decision has been made if he will eventually be charged as an adult. Charles Long, 50, and his wife, Marilyn Long, 51, were found dead in their Burlington home on Tuesday evening. They are the 12-year-old's parents. Investigators say both the adults had suffered from gunshot wounds.
Two children of the Longs, a 5-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, were also found injured at the home.
In addition to the murder charges, the 12-year-old also faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder and at least two counts of aggravated assault. He is currently charged as a juvenile.
Bob Watson, district attorney for the 13th Judicial District, has not made a decision whether to charge the 12-year-old as an adult. If he makes that decision, he has to submit a request to the judge who would then decide if that will happen.
Watson had to file charges against the 12-year-old within 72 hours.
The 12-year-old's name has not been released. Authorities have not named any other suspects in the case.
The 5-year-old girl has knife injuries to her neck and back. She was also shot. The 9-year-old boy has gunshot wounds to his groin and was also stabbed. Both are at The Children's Hospital in Aurora and are expected to make a full recovery. The 5-year-old is out of ICU and the 9-year-old is still in the ICU, but is improving.
"I really appreciate the concern and prayers. We should be fine now. We've had a lot of help from relatives, friends, and all the people I work with. I will tell you that my little sister is doing great, and my brother is starting to do better," Caleb Long, one of their older brothers, told 9NEWS.
Family and friends are at a loss to describe what may have happened inside the home.
"I can't guess at all," Aaron Gartrell, a close friend of the Long family, said. "He was just a special kid."
Gartrell's children were homeschooled, like the Longs, and he said Charles and Marilyn were loving parents to their kids.
"They're just really good people," he said. "About as good as you could get."
The 12-year-old appeared in court on Wednesday. He will appear in court again on March 14. A public defender has been appointed to the case.

J. Jones is a lawyer in the juvenile court system and owns www.nightlifelawyer.com. He says he has never seen a child accused of inflicting this kind of brutality. In his experience violence to this degree is triggered by something a child has seen or experienced.

"It is very rare for a child to have what you would call the 'Daemon factor.' The bad seed that you see in the movies is generally not what we see in the juvenile court system. Generally we see kids who are reacting to their environment," Jones said.
Watson could not say whether a representative was present when he was questioned by police, citing a gag order in the case.
"We will address that in court if the issue is brought up," he said.
Juvenile advocates are already calling for protections for the 12-year-old.
"If he's badly abused, then he needs to get help," Mary Ellen Johnson, executive director of the Pendulum Project, said. "If he is mentally ill and that's the reason that he did it, then he also needs treatment. What is the purpose of trying this kid and locking him up behind bars?"
Johnson's Pendulum Project advocates for shorter prison sentences for juveniles charged with crimes.
"The blessing that this child was so young is that they can't automatically try him as an adult," Johnson said.
Legally, the prosecutor says he cannot charge the boy as an adult because he is under 14. Under state law, it is up to the juvenile court system to decide if he can be charged as an adult. Colorado law states anyone 12 or older can technically be charged as an adult for certain serious felonies.
Watson says he is not necessarily looking at filing adult charges against the 12-year-old and he would have to file motions in juvenile court before that could happen.
The boy is being held at the Platte Valley Youth Services Center in Greeley.

Burlington 12-year-old charged with 2 counts of murder


I'm following this story because Charles Long was a colleague of my daughter. I don't know him. But it is a very sad story and a mystery of why.
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Last edited by MADeline : 09-28-2011 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:50 AM
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Colorado boy, 12, charged in murders of parents


By Keith Coffman
DENVER | Fri Mar 4, 2011 8:05pm EST

DENVER (Reuters) - A 12-year-old boy was charged on Friday with murdering his parents and gravely wounding two of his siblings in a shooting and stabbing rampage in an eastern Colorado farming town.
Robert Watson, the district attorney for Kit Carson County, filed two counts of first-degree murder against the boy for the killing of his parents, Marilyn Long, 51, and her husband, Charles, 50, earlier this week.
Watson said in a telephone interview that the crime has rocked the residents of Burlington, Colorado, a rural town of 4,400 near the Kansas state line.
The filing of criminal charges against the boy, he said, will add to the grief of the community and the victims' family.
"The (Long) family is going be hurt even more," Watson told Reuters. "There is not going to be a happy ending."
Prosecutors also lodged attempted murder and aggravated assault charges against the boy for the shooting and stabbing of his nine-year-old brother, Ethan, and the slashing of his sister, Sara, 5.
The two small children remain hospitalized in Denver with serious wounds, but are expected to recover.
Because of the boy's age, the case was filed under a "juvenile petition," meaning if he is tried as an adult, those are the criminal charges he would face.
Police said the 12-year-old boy called 911 Tuesday night to report that three people were shot at his home in Burlington on the plains of Colorado, about 165 miles east of Denver.
When police responded to the residence they discovered the parents dead and the two small children with critical injuries.
Detectives questioned the boy for several hours the following day before arresting him.
A juvenile court judge on Thursday ordered the boy held without bond, and he was transferred to a youth detention facility.
Watson said he has not decided whether to try the boy as an adult. That determination, he said, will be based on psychological reports, family history, the boy's maturity level and a number of other factors.
Should prosecutors seek to try the 12-year-old as an adult, a juvenile court judge must rule to move the case to adult court, Watson said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...72407020110305
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(Colorado boy faces 9 charges in parents' deaths

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42083051/ns/us_news/)

I WENT BACK TO LOOK AT THIS AND THE PAGE WAS GONE. THIS IS A REPEAT.
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Last edited by MADeline : 05-18-2011 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:39 AM
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Older Brother At Burlington Home 10 Min. Before Murders

BURLINGTON, Colo. (AP) -- The uncle of a 12-year-old Colorado boy suspected of fatally shooting his parents and wounding his siblings has met briefly with his nephew.
Wally Long told ABC News that he met Tuesday with the boy at a youth detention center in Greeley. He says the boy told him he's being treated well.
Wally Long is the brother of Charles Long, who was found dead last week in his home in Burlington, about 140 miles east of Denver. Charles Long's wife, Marilyn, was also fatally shot.
The boy's younger brother and sister were injured. Wally Long says they are recovering at a Denver hospital.
Prosecutors haven't said what charges may have been filed, citing a gag order in the case. They haven't decided whether to charge the boy as an adult.

Wally Long is the brother of Charles Long, who was found dead last week in his home in Burlington, about 140 miles east of Denver. Charles Long's wife, Marilyn, was also fatally shot.
The boy's younger brother and sister were injured. Wally Long says they are recovering at a Denver hospital.
Prosecutors haven't said what charges may have been filed, citing a gag order in the case. They haven't decided whether to charge the boy as an adult.
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...37/detail.html
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:18 AM
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I'm still following this story, but the police aren't realeasing any info. I guess because he is 12 years old.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:55 AM
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Default Community holds fundraiser for Burlington family

BURLINGTON - It could be two months before a judge determines if a 12-year-old boy in eastern Colorado will be charged as an adult for the murder of his parents. The boy is expected to appear in court in June. Charles and Marilyn Long were found dead in their Burlington home in early March. Two of their other children were critically injured.
On Saturday, the Burlington community came together to support the surviving family members with a banquet and fundraiser open to anyone in the town.

Jacob Long, one of Charles and Marilyn's older sons, was there.
"Just take it one day at a time. That's all we can do," he said. "Just keep moving forward ... get the kids totally healed up and just move on."
But Long says he's encouraged by the effort put forth by the people of Burlington to support his family.
"It's very moving to see how the community has really pulled together," Long said.

Event organizer, Jim Wallin said he and other volunteers hoped to feed 400 to 700 people at the event. In addition to dinner, they organized a fair for kids, complete with a dunk booth and a variety of other games. They also held a live and silent auction, with all proceeds going to the Long family.

"We didn't set any certain amount. Whatever we do raise we just put it in God's hands and that's what's going to happen," Wallin said.
Long said any little bit will help.
"There's all kinds of costs we've incurred in this whole thing," he said. "You gotta keep going. Life doesn't stop just because something bad happened."
And volunteers at the event said they'll be with them every step of the way.

"This is what Burlington is," Wallin said. "People supporting each other, and it's not just this event either. When people are in trouble we all gather around and try to help each other out."
Long said he planned to meet as many people he can at Saturday's event to personally thank them for the support they've offered to him and to his family.

http://www.9news.com/news/article/19...murder-victims
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:51 PM
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I went back and edited a lot of the URLs because when clicked on, the story wasn't there anymore. I didn't know that would happen.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:03 PM
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On Colorado's plains, Burlington residents uncertain how law should treat 12-year-old accused of killing parents


By Jordan Steffen


The Denver Post
Posted: 06/05/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 06/05/2011 12:14:15 PM MDT


Burlington, CO--March 2, 2011--A husband and wife are dead and two of their children are in critical condition after an incident at this home in Burlington, Colorado. Lyn Alweis, The Denver Post (The Denver Post | Lyn Alweis)



BURLINGTON — It's the question that has been on the minds of many in this town east of Denver since the horrific crime occurred in March:
What should the state do with a 12-year-old accused killer?
The next steps toward an answer to that question will be taken Monday, when the boy appears in court for a pretrial hearing.
At that point, a judge will begin to consider the evidence that could eventually help decide whether the boy accused of killing his parents and gravely wounding two siblings should remain in juvenile court or be treated as an adult.
On the evening of March 1, Charles Long, 50, and his wife Marilyn, 51, were found dead in their Burlington home. The two youngest children, Ethan and
Marilyn and Charles Long. (Courtesy of Ron Lee, Evangelical Free Church)


Sarah, were found critically injured.
The boy, whose name is being withheld by The Denver Post because he is being treated as a juvenile, was taken into custody that night and transferred to juvenile detention the next day.
On March 4, Bob Watson, 13th Judicial District attorney, filed a petition in juvenile court declaring the boy a delinquent in the case.
After Monday's pretrial hearing, which will be closed to the public and media, Watson will have 30 days to decide if he will request a transfer hearing, presenting evidence to let a judge decide whether to send the case to adult court. In cases such as this, it is by no means an easy call for the prosecutor.
"Half of a community will want me shot if I give a kid anything other than a hug, the other half of a community wants me shot if I don't go as far as life," Watson said.
If a transfer is requested, the judge will then decide if the case will be moved out of juvenile court and the boy charged as an adult.
The boy, who is being held in the Greeley Platte Valley Youth Services Center, would be the youngest Coloradan in contemporary history to be charged as an adult, Watson said.
When considering a transfer hearing, Watson said, he is required to consider several factors, none of which are conclusive. Some of the factors he considers are the seriousness of the crime, the mental health and maturity level of the juvenile, the best interests of the juvenile and the safety of the community.
Cases of this nature can create a dividing line among residents, Watson said. Some believe the juveniles should remain in juvenile court and others think they should be tried as an adult.
Burlington resident Gary Kaster said he believes the boy should remain in juvenile court.
"They need to determine what his actual intension was," Kaster said. "That one moment probably wasn't what he intended it to be."
The community has both "curiosity and sympathy" for the boy, and keeping him in juvenile court will offer him the help he needs, Kaster said.
Nikki Ekberg — whose family is split on the issue — wants the boy to get help, but thinks it might be too late, she said.
"It sounded so planned in that time frame," Ekberg said. "I want to see justice because of the younger kids, but at the same time, that's their older brother."
The wishes of the family are also taken into account when considering a request for a transfer, Watson said. Following procedure, Watson has had contact with the family.
"I think we have to wait until we know something," said Ron Lee, pastor of the Evangelical Free Church, which the Long family was deeply involved with.
"I have mixed feelings myself," Lee said, who knew the family well.
Lee recently met with the boy, and said that he appeared well.
The town held two fundraisers to benefit Ethan and Sarah, who were released from the hospital and are living with family in Missouri. Both have celebrated birthdays since the attack, Lee said.
In the Burlington Super's market, conversations about the case have all but ended as opinions have hardened, but it's still clear to employee and lifelong resident Chacha Hernandez that residents are thinking about the case.
"Everyone has an opinion about it," Hernandez said.







Read more: On Colorado's plains, Burlington residents uncertain how law should treat 12-year-old accused of killing parents - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18...#ixzz1OQhAGWOE
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse



http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18208996
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:00 PM
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12-Year-Old Boy Faces Hearing In Colorado For Fatally Shooting His Parents, Wounding His Siblings

The Huffington Post Matt Ferner
First Posted: 06/ 6/11 05:07 PM ETUpdated: 06/ 7/11 10:52 AM ET



The 12-year-old Burlington, Colorado boy accused of killing his parents and critically injuring his younger siblings appeared in court for a pretrial hearing Monday morning.

On March 1, Charles and Marilyn Long, the boy's parents, were found shot to death in their Burlington, Colorado home. The boy’s two younger siblings, 5-year-old Sarah and 9-year-old Ethan were gravely wounded, but not killed, according to a CBSNews report. After allegedly firing upon his family, the 12-year-old boy called 911 to report that members of his family had been shot.
9News reports that the suspect is facing nine charges: two first-degree murders charges, two attempted murder counts and multiple counts of assault which are associated with the almost fatal wounds he allegedly administered to his younger brother and sister with both a knife and firearm.
According to CBSNews, the Long family’s church pastor Ron Lee said the 12-year-old boy was active in their church, frequently handing out church bulletins, greeting church visitors before Sunday service, working with audio and video equipment, running Powerpoint presentations and helping children learn memory verses.
But, the big question on everyone’s mind at the hearing was: Do you try a 12-year-old accused killer as an adult or as a minor? The Denver Post reports that District Attorney Bob Watson will have 30 days to decide to request a transfer hearing in which the judge could then decide to try the boy as an adult.



In a statement to The Denver Post, Watson said:
Half of a community will want me shot if I give a kid anything other than a hug, the other half of a community wants me shot if I don't go as far as life.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_872098.html
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:27 PM
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District attorney prepares to announce decision on adult charges in case of 12-year-old Burlington boy

By Jordan Steffen
The Denver Post
Posted: 08/25/2011 11:19:46 AM MDT
Updated: 08/25/2011 12:26:56 PM MDT

The Kit Carson County District Attorney has made a decision on whether he will request that the 12-year-old Burlington boy, accused of shooting and killing his parents, be charged as an adult.

District Attorney Bob Watson, along with the Colorado State Public Defender's office, will announce the decision tomorrow morning in Fort Morgan, Watson said.

In June, at the request of the boy's attorney, a Kit Carson County judge gave attorneys an additional 60 days to file motions on whether the boy will be tried as an adult.

At that time, Watson had not made the decision to file a transfer motion asking the judge to move the case into adult court.

In making his decision, Watson was required to consider several factors including the safety of the community as well as consult with the boy's family.

The boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a juvenile, is being held on a juvenile-delinquency petition alleging two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of first-degree assault.

On March 1, Charles Long, 50 and his wife Marilyn, 51, were found shot to death inside their Burlington home. The two youngest children, Ethan and Sarah, were stabbed and assaulted with a knife.

The two have since recovered from their injuries and are living with their uncle, Wally Long.

Long said he will not be present for tomorrow's announcement.
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_18755869
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:21 PM
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Prosecutor: Boy in family shootings to enter plea



P. SOLOMON BANDA, Associated Press


Updated 01:05 p.m., Friday, August 26, 2011

FORT MORGAN, Colo. (AP) — A 13-year-old Colorado boy accused of killing his parents and wounding two siblings will plead guilty to murder charges as a juvenile to avoid being tried as an adult, a prosecutor said Friday.


District Attorney Bob Watson said the boy, who was 12 at the time of the slayings, faces seven years in juvenile prison. If tried and convicted as an adult, the boy could have faced decades in prison.

"This was not an easy decision, nor one that I'm entirely happy with," Watson said. "But unfortunately the current status of Colorado law forces us to choose between either an unacceptably light juvenile sentence or an unnecessarily harsh lifetime sentence."

The boy, whose name has been withheld because he is a juvenile, is charged in the March shooting deaths of his parents, Marilyn and Charles Long, in the farm town of Burlington near the Kansas border.

He also is charged with shooting and wounding a younger brother and assaulting a younger sister with a knife.

The boy faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and three counts of first-degree assault. Watson said the boy was expected to enter the pleas at a Sept. 28 hearing.

Police said they found the bodies of Charles and Marilyn Long on March 1 inside their Burlington home, about 140 miles east of Denver. The killings shocked the farm community of 3,700, including members of the Evangelical Free Church that the Long family attended.

Marilyn Long, 50, homeschooled her kids and ran the children's ministry at the church. Charles Long, 51, served as a church elder and was a snack delivery driver. The boy was a greeter at the church and helped other children memorize Bible verses.

Court documents allege the boy stabbed and shot his 9-year-old brother and hurt his 5-year-old sister with a knife. Both recovered from their wounds.

Watson said the boy used a .357 Magnum revolver in the shootings.
In Fort Morgan, Watson and public defender Tom Ward said they considered whether the boy had any mental health problems, the wishes of the Long family, and community safety in reaching the plea deal.

Prosecutors and Ward also shared the findings of mental health evaluations of the boy conducted by each side.

Watson acknowledged that many relatives of the Longs wanted the boy to be tried as an adult.

Charles Long's sister, Deborah Long, said she was appalled by the decision.

"He killed my brother. He should spend the rest of his life in prison," Deborah Long said. "I don't think he should ever get out, and I don't think the rest of our family or the rest of society is going to be safe when he does get out."

Watson called for "some middle ground" in state law to make sure "that serious juvenile offenders are held and treated until we are confident that they don't pose a threat."


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Old 08-26-2011, 05:38 PM
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Colorado boy to plead guilty to murdering parents: prosecutor

By Keith Coffman
DENVER | Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:28pm EDT

DENVER (Reuters) - A 13-year-old rural Colorado boy accused of murdering his parents and wounding two siblings in a shooting and stabbing rampage will plead guilty in juvenile court to avoid being tried as an adult, a prosecutor said on Friday.

Robert Watson, the district attorney for Kit Carson County, said the boy, 12 at the time of the killings, will plead guilty to the first-degree murder of his parents, Marilyn and Charles Long, and the attempted murder and aggravated assault of his brother and sister.

The bloody attacks in March shocked the 4,400 residents of Burlington, Colorado, a farming community near the Kansas state line.
Watson said at a news conference the plea agreement was "not an easy decision, nor is it one I am entirely happy with," but that he had limited options under the law.

"Unfortunately the current status of Colorado law forces us to choose between an either unacceptably light juvenile sentence, or an unnecessarily harsh lifetime sentence," he said.

The boy will likely serve just seven years in a juvenile detention facility.
Police said the boy placed a 911 call to report that three people were shot at his home in Burlington, 165 miles east of Denver.

When police arrived, they found his parents dead from gunshot wounds fired from a .357 magnum.

They also discovered the boy's nine-year-old brother, Ethan, critically injured from gunshot and knife wounds and his sister Sara, 5, seriously injured from a knife attack.

Both of the children recovered from their wounds, and are living with relatives.

Watson said his decision not to try the boy as an adult went against the wishes of most of the Long family.

"While it was not unanimous, it was clear that a majority of the family believes this case should be tried in adult court," Watson said.
He said the case was "problematical" because the boy had no criminal record, and was home-schooled so there were no school, medical or psychological records to rely on.

The boy was evaluated by both prosecution and defense mental health professionals, Watson added.

The prosecutor said the case was "practically unheard of" in the annals of criminology.

"It is extraordinarily rare for a child to kill both parents, and also to attack younger siblings in the same event," Watson said.

The boy is expected to be sentenced on September 28.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...77P6KJ20110826
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:47 AM
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Burlington boy spared adult charges in parents' shooting deaths



By Jordan Steffen and Sara Burnett
The Denver Post
Posted: 08/27/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT


FORT MORGAN — He was a 12-year-old boy accused of inexplicably killing his parents and injuring his siblings — a nearly unprecedented crime so disturbing that no one had an easy answer for what should happen to him.
In the end, it was a psychological evaluation indicating that the boy's maturity level was unusually low that led 13th Judicial District Attorney Bob Watson to offer a deal.
Under a plea agreement announced Friday, the Burlington boy will remain in juvenile detention for seven years — the maximum sentence possible.
"There was some compelling information that he was at a low-functioning maturity level," Watson said.
That made Watson doubt whether a judge would agree to transfer the case to adult court and left him willing to make the best deal possible to keep the boy in detention and therapy.
"It was important to us to get the best of the worst-possible outcomes," Watson said.
The decision disappointed the majority of the boy's family, who blamed Colorado law for limiting the prosecution's options.
"Seven years is just too light," said the boy's uncle, Wally Long.
On March 1, Long's brother, Charles, 50, and Charles' wife, Marilyn, 51, were found shot to death inside their Burlington home. Their two youngest children — Ethan, 9, and Sarah, 5 — had been stabbed and assaulted with a knife. Ethan also had been shot with the .357-caliber Magnum that was used to kill his parents.
The young gunman, now 13, whose name is being withheld by The Denver Post because he is a juvenile, was taken into custody that night and transferred to juvenile detention the next day.
"Why?" unanswered
Authorities have not said whether the boy gave a reason for the attacks, and if so, what it was.
"I'm never going to be able to answer the public's question of why," Watson said.
The prosecutor worried that if the state sought a transfer of the case to adult court and it was rejected by the judge, he would lose even the limited leverage he had in the case and that the defense might seek even less time for the boy in juvenile detention.
The sentence could potentially be extended by two years if authorities determine the boy is not fit to be released.
Some in the boy's family thought an extended sentence in adult prison should follow the counseling and juvenile detention.
"I feel betrayed by the system. The juvenile code in Colorado does not allow for any middle ground," Wally Long said. "It's either juvenile court and the resulting short sentence or adult court and a lengthy or life sentence. There should be some middle ground."
While he is praying for his nephew and "for whatever is broken in him . . . to get fixed," Long said he worries that the boy's siblings who were attacked may be further traumatized by his eventual release.
"My main concern is for the welfare of those kids," he said.
Wally and Charles Long's sister was seeking even harsher punishment.
"He killed my brother, and he should spend the rest of his life in prison," said Deborah Long.
Still, the boy's aunt conceded that he had previously been a well-behaved child. She said she never had any indication that something was wrong in the home that would explain his sudden, violent attack.
Unusual nature of case
Dan King, chief trial deputy for the Colorado public defender's office, said the decision was "certainly the best thing for the family in the long run" because it spared the younger children the challenge of a trial.
"We've got a juvenile defendant, and we have juvenile victims," he said. "Certainly, a trial would not be the best outcome for any of them."
Though the deal has not been finalized, King said he expects this will be the final resolution in the case.
In a joint news conference Friday morning in Fort Morgan, both King and DA Watson noted the unusual nature of the case and the unusual response it required from them.
"The nature of the assault in this case is practically unheard of in the history of criminology," Watson said. "It is extraordinarily rare for a child to kill both parents and also to attack younger siblings in the same event."
Both sides needed additional information to determine the boy's mental state and maturity level — a task made more difficult because the Long children were home-schooled so no academic records existed, Watson said. Nor did they have any medical or psychological reports.
Both sides brought in doctors to conduct psychological evaluations. The defense shared its results with the prosecution's expert, who flew in from Florida and spent more than eight hours with the boy. She also met with family and members of the community, Watson said.
Both Watson and King said the boy's competence was never in question.
David Kaplan, a former Colorado state public defender who is now vice chairman of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, applauded the decision.
The way children's brains develop and how their minds and emotions work are different from adults, he said, and they should be treated differently in the justice system.
"You have to figure that when a 12-year-old does something like that, it's just not normal," Kaplan said. "If you throw him away (in the adult system), there's no chance."
"Cold-blooded murder"
But others in Burlington echoed the Long family's sentiments.
Matthew Schuvie, owner of the Panaderia Mexico 2 restaurant in the small town, said he believed that the severity of the crimes was overlooked and should have been discussed in court.
"He should have been tried as an adult for the graphic nature that it was. This was just cold-blooded murder," Schuvie said. "It's unfortunate that this happened under the community's nose, and everyone wants to know why."



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Old 09-28-2011, 10:14 AM
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Boy Facing Sentencing For Killing Parents, Attacking Siblings

Plea Bargain Puts Child In Custody For 7-9 Years

TheDenverChannel team

POSTED: 7:17 am MDT September 28, 2011
UPDATED: 8:15 am MDT September 28, 2011


BURLINGTON, Colo. -- A child accused of killing his parents and attacking two of his siblings is facing seven to nine years in custody if he formally accepts a plea bargain in court on Wednesday.
The boy, 13, was 12 years old at the time of the attacks in his hometown of Burlington.
Read more...
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:48 PM
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In court, the boy stood about 5 feet tall and appeared slight in his teal prison uniform. He declined a chance to speak and cried as a defense lawyer read a statement from his maternal grandmother, Dolores Richardson. She noted that he was a helpful boy and hinted that the slayings had resulted from "helplessness, a cry for help for a situation, that (he) felt he had no control over."


After the hearing, Wally Long and the boy's 25-year-old brother, Jacob, said they didn't know what she was referring to.




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Old 11-22-2011, 06:49 AM
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Younger siblings of Burlington killer: 'I don't know why he did that'

11:46 PM, Nov 21, 2011 |

NEAR SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - When the sun rises, it illuminates the pastures and the crops of this rural community in Missouri. The houses are spaced out. There is one every mile or so, sitting on large plots of land.

It's breezy, but perfectly chilly for a November morning.
The Long home sits a bit off the road. Inside, Wally Long is making breakfast: wheat pancakes from home-ground wheat. Three of Long's six children are grown and have homes of their own. On this particular morning, Wally's wife Sylvia is dashing out to her part-time job. Wally's cooking for sons Alex, 17, Aaron 13, and for his two adopted children, 6-year-old Sarah and 10-year-old Ethan.
"I got a special technique I use to make pancakes for kids," Wally Long said. "I make initials, numbers and things like that."
After prayer and breakfast, it's time for school, which the Longs teach at home.
The Longs thought they were done raising and educating kids. Aaron would be their last one.
"We're done with this. We got the older kids now. We're ready to move on to a different stage of life, and now we're back to raising young children again," Wally Long said.
When you ask them about being new parents again, Wally and Sylvia's faces light up. They recently adopted Sarah and Ethan, the children of Wally's younger brother, Charles Long.
"It's an adjustment," Wally Long said. "We're just not used to the energy of a 6-year-old running around the house anymore like we have now, and a 10-year-old who's interested in everything, who wants to know the littlest detail about every single thing that we do."
When they got married and thought they were going to have two children, they prayed about adopting two more. They never thought their prayers would be answered like this.
"We're just overwhelmed that they survived," Sylvia Long said, "and we have the privilege or raising them for their mom and daddy."
On March 1, in Burlington, Colo., Sarah and Ethan's 12-year-old brother shot and killed their parents, Charles and Marilyn. He then directed his violence toward his siblings. Ethan was 9 years old at the time.
Wally Long told 9NEWS the boy shot Ethan twice and stabbed him six times in the back. He slashed Sarah's throat and stabbed her several more times. She was 5 years old.
Both of Ethan's lungs collapsed; he lost a lot of blood. It's a miracle he survived, the family says.
"The kids survived by God's grace, and somehow, little Ethan probably should've been dead, but he survived, and God had a reason for his life," Wally Long said.
The family is still wondering about the reason why this happened at all.
"It's kind of hard to believe, and [my cousin has] already been tried [for the crime] and I heard him say he's already [pleaded] guilty to it," said Ashley Johnson, Wally Long's oldest daughter. "It's still really hard to believe that someone I knew could've done this to his family."
"I still wonder why," Wally Long said. "I don't know if we'll ever know why. I'm not sure. Sometimes things just break, I don't know. Maybe something just broke in his mind, maybe something happened, maybe. I don't have a clue."
The Longs say Charles and Marilyn were good parents who loved their kids. Sarah says she misses them.
"They died," the 6-year-old said, in a matter-of-fact way. "My brother killed them. He also hurt me and Ethan. I don't know why he did that. Now he's in prison. I think it's good he's in prison, because he won't touch us ever again."
Now 13, Sarah and Ethan's older brother is serving a seven-year sentence in juvenile detention - the maximum the system allowed - for killing his parents and injuring his siblings. From the beginning of the case, 9NEWS has chosen not to name him because of his age.
Ethan says he doesn't remember much.

"I think the only reason I remember is because it hurt," he said. "When I woke up from my second stomach surgery, I was hitting my little pain medication button as much as I could. It wasn't working."
Wally Long says both kids worry about their safety.
"We assure them regularly that they're safe, that I'll take care of them," he said. "That's one of the main concerns, 'Will you keep us safe?' Sarah asks us that fairly regularly, I'd say."
Through the tragedy and heartache, there are smiles, love and even jokes from Ethan. The two seem to have adjusted to their new family.
"Uncle Dad and Uncle Mom," Sarah calls her new mom and dad. "Not [many] kids have that - Uncle Dad and Uncle Mom."
For a kid whose life was robbed of so much, she's incredibly giving. Sarah is planning to use her entire piggy bank on a surprise present for the family.
"It's been hard in some ways but it's been really exciting in other ways to see how well they've done, even though they've been through a lot, and how well they fit in," Johnson said. "It's been really cool to see how God has worked it out. And how God has allowed this to happen in our family and given us the tools to make it work even if it's hard."
The Longs say they allowed 9NEWS into their home to be able to say thank you and to show the world the kids who survived so much are doing well.
"Somehow, in his God-way, he takes evil and bad things and brings good out of it," Wally Long said. "I just want to tell the people of Colorado and across the country that might hear this: Thank you, thank you for your prayers. It means a lot, I know that the prayers of people all around the country and certainly there in Colorado have kept us lifted up, and God does listen to those prayers, and he's working in our lives."
"This is a hard thing, it's a horrible thing. Sometimes the pain has been real dark and real deep, almost overwhelming, but the thing I keep thinking about is, love is deeper still," Sylvia Long said.

See video of brother and sister.

http://www.9news.com/news/article/23...hy-he-did-that
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