9-year-old deemed incompetent to stand trial for attempted murder

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – A 9-year-old boy will not face attempted murder charges after being ruled incompetent for court and the state unable to restore competency.

Charges of attempted murder in the second degree, aggravated assault, and adding poison to another product have all been dismissed with prejudice, which means the case cannot be refiled. 

The charges were levied after the boy allegedly admitted to mixing several chemicals from house cleaning products into personal hygiene products in an effort to kill his father’s fiancé and injure her two daughters. (Gila Herald – Nov. 5, 2021) 

A Graham County Sheriff’s deputy was initially dispatched to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center at about 3:39 p.m. on Oct. 2 regarding the issue. Upon arrival, the deputy learned of various health issues the victims have been experiencing over the past few months and that they were believed to be caused by the defendant’s actions. In addition to mixing dangerous chemicals into personal products, such as the liquid in a contact lens case, shampoo and body wash bottles, and toothpaste, the defendant allegedly admitted to urinating into the victim’s contact case and using a victim’s toothbrush on dog feces. The hospital advised it was attempting to get the boy into a psychiatric facility.

The victims showed the deputy rashes on their skin and advised they also had bouts with nausea, hair loss, itching, burning, and eye soreness/blindness.

The 9-year-old boy allegedly said he did what he did to get rid of his father’s fiancé and her two daughters so that his mother and sister could move back in together with them instead. He said he learned how to do what he did by watching the cartoon show Rick and Morty while staying with his mother out of state. The show is rated TV14-DLSV. That means some material in the show would be found by many parents to be unsuitable for children under the age of 14, generally by the use of suggestive dialogue, coarse language, intense sexual situations, and intense violence.

The boy was examined multiple times by doctors and was deemed to have a mental issue other than just his age and that he didn’t have a grasp on the repercussions of his crime. It appeared that he believed it would be more like a video game and the people who died could come back to life. 

A victim told the Gila Herald that the youth would be moving to live with his grandmother in Taylor, Arizona, so he would not be a threat to them anymore. 

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