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Criminal Justice

Boy, 11, Takes Plea in Mom’s Shooting Death, Asks Judge If He Can Have a Gun Again Later On in Life

Posted Aug 9, 2011 7:14 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Initially charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his mother, an 11-year-old Illinois boy pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree murder.

The unidentified youth expressed no remorse in yesterday's juvenile court hearing over the death of Brenda Schaad, 39, reports the Journal Courier. It occurred earlier this month as he was trying to kill his brother with a 12-gauge shotgun at their home in Chandlerville after a dispute over a computer game.

The brother had fled to a bathroom and Schaad blocked the door, apparently in an effort to protect him. The article says she was accidentally shot by her son after he told her “The safety is off. Back off,” according to prosecutor Kristen Miller.

The boy will be held in detention for a maximum of 30 days and put on probation until his 21st birthday,

“The state is very limited as to what avenues can be pursued with a minor of this age,” Miller, who said she consulted with the victim's family before proposing the plea, told the newspaper after the hearing. “The sentencing options are very limited.”

During the hearing in the Mason County case, the 11-year-old asked Eighth Circuit Judge Alan Tucker if he would be prohibited from having a gun only while he is on probation or for the rest of his life. The judge told the boy that would be up to state police.

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