Skip to comments.11-Year-Old Murder Suspect Can't Stay in Jail
Posted on 02/23/2009 12:11:39 PM PST by christianhomeschoolmommaof3
PITTSBURGH A jail warden said Sunday he will ask a judge to move an 11-year-old boy accused of killing his father's pregnant girlfriend from an adult lockup to a juvenile detention center because the jail cannot accommodate the boy.
Patricia Papernow, a psychologist from Hudson, Mass., and expert on blended families, said tensions from combining families, as Brown's father and Houk were doing, were "pretty normal in a new stepfamily."
"It looks awful from the outside and sort of unspeakable, but these are the kinds of feelings that are pretty normal in a new stepfamily," Papernow said. "You just hope there's not a loaded gun around."
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Blended families??? Feelings of plotting murder is pretty common? I have a feeling Ms Papernow has been smoking something she found in one of the outlying cow pastures.
“You just hope there’s not a loaded gun around.”
Huh. I have been mad plenty of times with a loaded gun around, yet I have never thought of shooting anyone.
It’s a tragic case but I do find it ironic that Dem judges face being struck off for incarcerating youths for minor offenses while this murderer is freed.
Well not freed but pampered a bit.
But dont you know that guns murder people? sarc
That last line really stood out at me. They think this is a normal little boy who should be keeping busy and be back in school. They think the gun killed the woman and the boy was just a pawn the gun used. These people are insane.
The idea of charging this kid as an adult is just insane. He’s ELEVEN, for God’s sake (and in the mugshot he looks like he’s about 7). He can’t begin to understand or control his own feelings towards his father’s very pregnant live-in girlfriend, who has presumably replaced his mother. And then he hops on the school bus like nothing is wrong, accompanied by the dead woman’s 7 year old daughter, who apparently didn’t see any reason to raise an alarm about a gunshot that just went off inside the house. And from the dead woman’s brother-in-law: “’He actually told my son that he wanted to do that to her,’ Houk’s brother-in-law, Jason Kraner, said Saturday. ‘There was an issue with jealousy.’” So there was advance warning that this little boy was harboring some serious anger, but he was still left alone at the house with some younger children, the object of his anger, and a loaded gun??? They’ve got the wrong person in jail here.
Read that psychologist's statement to yourself ten times and THEN say that!
Call me old-fashioned, but I thought marriage had to be involved in being a “step FAMILY.” We certainly are defining “family” downward when a father shacking up with a girlfriend becomes a “blended family.”
Many children growing up in these hideous arrangements will not be well-adjusted.
Then put the little devil in a padded room in the closest maximum security mental hospital.
Enough with the “kid glove” treatment of criminals — EVEN kids! PUNISH THEM. MAKE THEM UNCOMFORTABLE. DEMONSTRATE TO THEM THAT THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY FOR BLOWING SOMEONES HEAD OFF.
I don’t find the lack of a government-issued marriage license disturbing, but the lack of swift and comprehensive response to the boy’s advance warning that he wanted to kill his stepmother suggests some really colossal problems in this household — the sort that certainly wouldn’t have been remedied by a marriage license. Not to mention the 7 year old girl who just went ahead and got on the school bus right after a shotgun blast went off inside her home, and apparently didn’t say anything to the driver about a problem. There were obviously major, major, major problems in this household, and the little boy isn’t responsible for them.
Blended family is code for shacking up with your girlfriend, getting her pregnant, setting a fine example for all the children, while ignoring your son’s obvious anger and resentment with what you are doing.
Blended..... it’s not The Brady Bunch!
“There were obviously major, major, major problems in this household, and the little boy isnt responsible for them.”
He’s responsible for everything that happened as a result of pulling the trigger.
Clearly, this child is insane. Eleven year old children don't go around murdering people if they are sane. Additionally, this child must have exhibited some symptoms of mental illness prior to this. It's begs the question, why weren't they caught before this tragedy?
As much as people don't like to admit, sometime people with debilitating psychological problems do commit unspeakable, violent crimes. They need to be treated, especially when they're children. If they are "untreatable", then they need to be medicated and placed in a secure facility, to protect themselves and the public. But, they don't need to be placed in prison with life-long, violent offenders.
"Blended family" hell, that 11 year old was living in a "hodge-podge." His "bio-parents" (isn't that a phrase guaranteed to chill your sh!t) and the knocked-up girl friend did it to him.
When deviancy becomes the norm, the envelope gets pushed further and further out.
Let's assume you are right. Why wouldn't prison be a good place to keep them...if they're insane they probably wouldn't even mind.
Please tell me this was a failed attempt at humor.
We don't treat people with mental illness as criminals, because they're not. They're sick. Sick people in a civilized society are treated and hopefully cured. If they can't be cured, then they are managed and possibly secured to protect themselves and the public.
People have been living in “blended” famalies for thousands of years. We forget that prior to the 20th century life expectency wasn’t vary long (like on 30-35 years.) It was pretty common for one parent to die before the children were grown, and the remaining parent to remary.
They should be treated as criminals if they kill people.
So is this psychologist speaking out to try to get no-fault divorce laws changed, or trying to get adults to work harder on their marriages instead of jumping ship and trying the next 'sweet thing' to come along? No?
Didn't think so.
Hidden in this story of an 11 year old sociopath or psychopath is an appeal for gun control. How tiring.
While I agree this child should not be housed with adult prisoners in a regular prison, he definitely needs to be incarcerated.
I didnt think it was hidden. Check keywords!
I’m quite sure that YOUR son can control his feelings better than this, but he’s also not confronted with the sort of anger-provoking challenges this little boy has been, nor has he been raised by irresponsible adults. I’m sure more details will be forthcoming about this family, and I’m sure they won’t be pretty.
And I wouldn’t be so sure that this boy really understood the finality of death, that was likely to result from pulling the trigger. He didn’t appear to have any sort of plan for “what next?”. Just got on the school bus. Didn’t seem to be thinking in terms of consequences, unless perhaps he was so angry and miserable at home that he did something he knew would get him taken out of there, and didn’t care about anything beyond that.
The biggest surprise in this statement, is that Ms. Papernow's name isn't hyphenated.
I agree with your assessment above. I'm a homeschool mom of three, too. :-) Three sons, and the middle one is 11. I cannot imagine my 11yo ever committing such a crime, but not all children are sweet and innocent. Some are cruel and mean. Assuming this boy is guilty, I'm struck by the fact that he hopped onto a schoolbus after killing his pregnant stepmother, as if he wasn't even bothered by what he'd just done. It doesn't seem he was confused or upset by what he'd done. If he's not punished for a long time, he will expect to always be excused for his crimes. He should be put away for a long time.
I want to know more about his family background before saying he needs to be incarcerated. Where’s his mother? Meth addict? And how come none of the adults in this kid’s life seemed to have a clue that he was about to completely lose it? Just ignoring him, no matter how many red flggs he waved in front of them? Picture your sister eight months pregnant, and her eleven year old stepson tells you he wants to kill her. Would you not be taking some action, at least telling your sister, who in turn would presumably see to it that the kid didn’t have ready access to a loaded gun? There’s so much wrong with this picture that I can’t see holding an eleven old primarily responsible for the tragic outcome.
Your original post said that he is eleven, he cannot begin to control himself and then went on to say that he looks younger. That says to me that you think young children arent responsible for their actions. The reason they arent responsible is because society doesnt hold them responsible. Keeping this eleven year old from the responsibility of what he did will only further his path toward destructive behaviour. Basically you are saying because noone taught him to control himself, we should do nothing to him. That only teaches him that he doesnt need to control himself.
Apparently his 7 year old stepsister was likewise not confused or upset about the fact that a shotgun blast had just gone off inside her home, since she just hopped on the school bus too, and the police didn’t get notified until the tree trimmers called from the house. There are clearly a LOT of missing pieces to this story.
Obviously he needs some extremely close guidance and supervision over the next several years. I’m not saying we should “do nothing”, but I think when all the facts come to light, it’s going to be clear that this boy’s outrageous act was the result of growing up in an outrageous situation. It seems to me that a therapy-oriented home for troubled children would be appropriate, but not any sort of prison. He needs to be taught how to control himself, not punished for failing to control himself before anybody had bothered to teach him how.
We don’t know all the details, yet. But, assuming he’s guilty: If he got on a schoolbus right afterward, that shows he lacks empathy for other people. He had no feelings for his stepmother nor her unborn baby. At 11, he’s old enough to know right from wrong and to have empathy for people. And, if his father is seeking to have him released and put back into school, that makes me wonder if this boy has been disciplined much.
Teaching a child to control themselves begins by appropriate discipline when they dont control themselves. My 2 year old screams for a toy so I withhold the toy and tell her that she must control herself and next time she must ask nicely. I do not give her the toy and then tell her to ask nicely next time. She got what she wanted by being out of control so why should she learn to control herself? This boy must be punished for killing someone. If you dont punish him, how will you teach him to control his behaviour. He already got away with it then. What deterrent do you think you can offer him, if you let him get away with murder?
Why would anyone point blame at the 7yo girl? She’s not a suspect. If she knew that the boy had shot her mother, and she got onto the bus, too, then maybe some psychological help is in order. But, she’s not a suspect in this case.
But it needs to begin before age 11, when things like screaming for a toy are the limit of misbehavior. Otherwise it’s completely unfair to expect self-control. This boy’s father is apparently eager to post bail to get the boy sprung so he can come home and go back to school as usual! This tells me that the boy has simply not been exposed to normal teaching and discipline, and thus can’t reasonably be held responsible for having failed to absorb and apply such lessons. Also makes me wonder just a little whether the boy is actually the one who pulled the trigger, or whether he may have been put up to it by his father. It’s one thing for a parent in this situation to want the child out of prison and into a therapeutic child-appropriate environment, but HOME? Right after he blew away your 8 months pregnant girlfriend?
When it comes to the real dynamics of "families" like this, the 11-year-old was evidently more perceptive than the so-called expert from Massachusetts.
I’m not pointing blame at her, just pointing out that her behavior suggests a seriously bizarre home environment.
The woman was pregnant, but she was definitely not this boy's "stepmother," nor was that bunch of folks sharing a house with him his "family."
Are you saying that the boy’s father wasn’t married officially to the woman pregnant with his child? That is no excuse for this 11yo’s crime. There are plenty of couples living together with their children from other marriages, and even though they may be wrong to live together without marriage, that does not explain an 11yo boy committing this crime.
The point still applies. How do you teach him if you dont hold him responsible for this? It will no doubt be a hard lesson to learn but one that he must learn for his own good and the good of society. By the way, I think it was the lawyer that wanted the boy back in school. I dont think the article quoted the dad.
It said the father wanted to post bail. Lawyers don’t post bail, and whoever posts the bail is taking responsibility for the accused. If the father (and/or lawyer) was asking the court to transfer the boy to a juvenile therapeutic facility, no bail would be involved.
There’s definitely a LOT more to this story. But I completely disagree with you that the boy should be punished as a first step in learning self-control and responsibility. That’s like spanking a child for hitting a sibling, when you’ve never told the child not to do this. If he keeps doing it after being taught and corrected, that’s when punishment is appropriate and beneficial. Obviously this boy can’t be given enough freedom to possibly repeat this sort of behavior for several years at the least, but an effort at gentle correction, in a secure environment, should be the first step. For all we know, this boy has seen his father repeatedly slam the pregnant girlfriend across the room without any consequences. I just think we need to be fair about what opportunity this boy has had to develop basic civility.
No kidding. It's the latest trend. And how are the kids doing? In general, they are boiling over with rage, most of which they inflict on themselves and/or society at large.
From the article “Brown’s attorney, Dennis Elisco, said he planned to file motions on Monday asking a judge to move the case to juvenile court and to let the boy’s father post bail so the boy can be freed.
“I want him to be occupied and busy and back, essentially, in school,” Elisco said.”
The lawyer was quoted not the father.
So basically, we should have to tell the boy not to kill someone and then if he does it again we should punish him. An eleven year old boy KNOWS that it is wrong to kill someone. No one needs to teach him that. What he needs to be taught is that he will be punished for doing it. Basic civility is saying please and thank you, murder is evil. You seem to think that because he had a bad example that he should get a pass on this murder. Tell that to the children of the woman he murdered.
Update to this story.
His family background has nothing to do with it. As a society, if we allow "gee, my childhood has been/was terrible" to be an excuse for committing a crime, then we have to let every prisoner out of every jail.
If someone ignored warnings, that's a different issue and can be dealt with under the law. But it does not negate the fact that this child needs to be punished for what he has done. He has taken two lives, for crying out loud.
If he's so insane that he didn't know what he was doing, then he needs to be committed to a facility for violent 'insane' offenders. Going to counseling while living at home is not acceptable. He's obviously a danger to others.
“Patricia Papernow, a psychologist from Hudson, Mass., and expert on blended families, said tensions from combining families, as Brown’s father and Houk were doing, were “pretty normal in a new stepfamily.”
“It looks awful from the outside and sort of unspeakable, but these are the kinds of feelings that are pretty normal in a new stepfamily,” Papernow said. “You just hope there’s not a loaded gun around.”
I beg to differ.
So do all normal people.
I’m certainly not saying he should be sent home and just required to attend counseling sessions. Home obviously wasn’t conducive to his mental health before, and it isn’t likely to be now, plus, as you noted, he’s a danger to others at this point. What I’m objecting to is dealing with this as a criminal case, and an adult criminal case to boot.
This is a child who has in all likelihood spent most of his childhoood to date in severely dysfunctional homes, and has one or more mental disorders as a result. At 11, he certainly can’t be held responsible for not removing himself from this situation and getting mental health treatment before he completely lost it. There ought to be some adults held responsible for that failure, but not the kid.
It’s very different when we’re talking about someone 18+ who commits a crime like this, after a vile childhood that did some mental damage. First of all, they DO have the option of getting out of the home and at least requesting mental health treatment (if they get turned down, and then go out and kill somebody, we need to take a long hard look at the mental health professionals who insisted he didn’t need treatment). And perhaps more importantly, when someone has reached adulthood with their head that messed up, correcting the problem at all is a long shot and at best is going to take a very long time. With an eleven year old, there’s a very good chance that spending the next seven years in some of sane setting (perhaps first a secure juvenile mental health facility, and later a well-supervised group home or foster home) will result in a mentally healthy young adult. Saddling him with an adult criminal record for something he did when he was eleven closes off many doors to a decent life, meaning that even if he arrives at 18 in excellent mental health and with a meaningful high school diploma, he’s just going to start getting doors slammed in his face and become very angry and frustrated again.
Obviously we don’t know the whole background to this, and of course it’s possible that he’s really a “bad seed” and has had a reasonably sane and stable home life, and it just didn’t do any good. But given the tidbits of info we’ve gotten so far — no mention of his mother, dad living with pregnant girlfriend, pregnant girlfriend’s brother in law apparently having not rung any alarm bells when the kid told him he wanted to kill the girlfriend, and a seven year old stepsister whose reaction to a shotgun blast in her home is to get on the school bus as usual and not say anything to the driver about a problem — just adding it all up, I expect the full picture of what’s been going on in this household is something really appalling.
And add to the evidence of insane household, the fact that the boy’s lawyer is asking for the boy to be released on bail TO HIS FATHER. The lawyer can’t be requesting that without the father’s support, so we’re talking about a father who wants the kid back home, right after the kid blew away his 8 months pregnant stepmother. As I pointed out in an earlier post, if the intention was to have the boy transferred to a mental health facility, no bail would be needed. Plus the father seems to have been totally unaware of his son’s mental instability, since he saw fit to give a him a shotgun as a present quite recently, and allow the boy to have unsupervised access to it. Sounds to me like the father belongs in secure mental institution.