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12-year-old accused of killing parents to become youngest Coloradan tried as adult for murder?

Thumbnail image for marilyn long.JPG
Big pic below.
A petition has been filed in juvenile court regarding a 12-year-old from Burlington suspected of killing his parents, Charles and Marilyn Long, and wounding two siblings. But prosecutor Robert Watson still hasn't decided whether to ask for a transfer to adult court. If he does, there's a strong possibility the boy will become the youngest-ever Coloradan to be tried for murder as an adult.

Colorado judicial computer records only go back to 1999 -- and since then, the youngest person tried as an adult in the state was Christopher Lucero, a thirteen-year-old from Pueblo, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the August 1999 death of Shawn Russell, a 28-year-old from Oklahoma who'd been in town for a bowling tournament. According to a March 2000 Associated Press report that's no longer online, the judge in the case sentenced Lucero "to 25 years in prison but suspended the sentence to send Lucero to the Youthful Offender System, a tougher alternative to the state's juvenile correctional facilities."

The judge reportedly told Lucero, "If you are violent in six months, you are going to prison for 25 years. If you are violent after six years, you are going to prison for 25 years."

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A Long family photo released to the media, with the children's faces obscured.
Back in 1996, Pierre Horton was even younger than Lucero -- just ten -- when he beat an eighteen-month old girl to death with a dog chain. A 2000 Rocky Mountain News piece that's also offline describes Horton as "the youngest person accused of murder in Colorado history." However, he was tried in the juvenile system. The paper notes that he was "declared a delinquent and sentenced to at least two years of probation."

The same Rocky report contained a roundup of other so-called "kid killers," prompted by first-degree murder charges leveled against Lorenso Montoya, fourteen, and sixteen-year-old cousins Nicholas Martinez and Lloyd Martinez in the slaying of Emily Johnson, a schoolteacher who was beaten to death. Here's the grim roster compiled by then-Rocky librarian Carol Kasel:

Nov. 4, 1992 -- Thomas ''T.J.'' White, 15, and Marcus Fernandez, 16, killed state Trooper Lyle Wohlers. White is sentenced to consecutive 16-year terms for accessory to murder. Fernandez is sentenced to life without parole.

Oct. 31, 1993 -- Paul English, 14, shot and killed Carl Banks Jr., 18, in Park Hill, as he was shepherding a group of trick-or-treaters. He was sentenced to 48 years in prison.

Feb. 25, 1995 -- Raymond James Gone, 16, shot and killed Denver police officer Shawn Leinen. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Sept. 28, 1996 -- Jennifer Tombs, 16, shot and killed her baby sitter Latanya Lavallais, 23. She was sentenced to life in prison.

Nov. 15, 1996 -- Antonio Scott Farrell, 17, and Kevin Blankenship, 16, kidnapped Barbara Castor, 76, from a Brighton parking lot, tied her up and left her near abandoned dam near Strasburg. She died of exposure. They were sentenced to life sentences plus 56 years.

Sept. 7, 1998 -- Alexander Pogosyan, 17, and friend Michael Martinez, 18, killed four teenagers and a mother in a Labor Day rampage. Martinez was later slain. Pogosyan was sentenced to five consecutive life terms without parole.

Of course, murderous preteens have been tried and sentenced as adults in other states -- the most notorious among them being Pontiac, Michigan's Nathaniel Abraham, who was just eleven when he killed an eighteen-year-old in 1997. As noted in the Associated Press article linked above, Abraham was sentenced to serve in juvenile detention until his 21st birthday. He was released in January 2007, then handed a four-to-twenty-year sentence in 2009 for an unrelated drug conviction.

Closer to home -- Colorado Springs, to be precise -- a mistrial was just declared in the case of Daniel Guidino, who was fourteen when he was accused of killing his brother and trying to slay his mother. However, that proceeding was assigned to the juvenile system. And then there's the story of John Caudle, who was fourteen when he killed his mother and stepfather, allegedly because he was angry about being told to do his chores. At present, the plan is to try Caudle as an adult, with a trial possibly getting underway in the next few months.

And the Burlington boy thought to have murdered his parents and shot his sister and brother, age five and nine, respectively? He could be breaking new ground in a very controversial way.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Adam Raszynski: Did mom Rita Redford shoot him & he stomp her head over car cushion? (59)"


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3 comments
gotchabobo
gotchabobo

Notice how nobody's touching another in that photo? And the arms are crossed, or the boys stand like little soldiers. I'm betting there was some stuff going on with Daddykins and his beat-down methods of discipline. I'd lay money on it. That does NOT look like a happy family.

gotchabobo
gotchabobo

Anyone who thinks this was a perfect family because they couldn't see what when on within its walls should read Paul Mones' book Children Who Kill. Boys who kill fathers usually are reacting to years of emotional and/or physical abuse. And oddly enough, these are often children who seem like "wonderful" kids to the outside world, eager to please, always smiling and helpful--just like this one. Plus, Daddy was an ex-deputy sheriff (authority figure) turned Frito deliverer (a comedown--and why did he lose the deputy job?), gun nut, and Ted Nugent fan who was probably coming down hard on a kid for mental-illness reasons of his own.

Ghud2
Ghud2

This was most certainly a heinous crime. I would be shocked if the child did not have some sort of mental illness. I cannot understand why, however, a twelve year old would be charged as an adult. We do not allow twelve year olds to buy alcohol or cigarettes, because we deem children not capable of understanding the consequences of using those things. We do not allow twelve year olds to drive a car, because we do not believe they have the judgment or impulse control to be safe drivers. Something must have caused this child to snap, or else he suffered a psychotic episode. However horrible the act he committed, for no other purposes would we ever say a 12 year old is an adult.

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