St. Johns teen who admitted killing dad, roommate in 2008 will w - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

St. Johns teen who admitted killing dad, roommate in 2008 will walk free Friday

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(Photograph via: 12 News). (Photograph via: 12 News).

It is the type of police call that doesn’t come in often in the small town of St. Johns. On Nov. 8, 2008 around 5 p.m. there were reports of shots fired and at least one body on the porch of a home.

Police would soon discover two victims had been murdered. Vincent Romero, 29, and his roommate Timothy Romans, 39, had been shot. Romero’s 8-year-old son was outside when police arrived.

The boy initially told police he came home and found his father and Romans shot to death. Police didn’t know what to think at first. Was this a murder-suicide or did someone else shoot the men? 

Detectives would question the boy and eventually learn what few could believe: He was the shooter. The boy confessed that he shot his dad and then Romans.

The case drew national attention as prosecutors and defense attorneys grappled with a fair and reasonable punishment for an 8-year-old boy. 

Eventually the boy was charged with negligent homicide in the death of Romans and the charges connected to his father were dropped. He was sentenced to an indefinite stay in a treatment unit until he was ruled eligible for foster care when he was 15.

The boy was evaluated by a psychiatrist when he was 12 and 15 and then later at the age of 17.

On Friday, the boy will turn 18 and sign paperwork that basically allows him to become a free man. 

He is no longer subjected to psychological evaluations, travel restrictions, court hearings or monitored by law enforcement.

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