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Teen Accused of Killing Dad Over Grades
AP ^ | December 17, 2005

Posted on 12/17/2005 12:48:09 PM PST by jdm

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - A 15-year-old boy allegedly killed his father, then set their home on fire because he was afraid his father would find out he was failing some classes, prosecutors said.

Ryan Watts was charged Friday with murdering his father, 50-year-old John E. Bruner, who was initially believed to have died in the fire earlier this week. He was charged as an adult.

Watts was arrested Wednesday after an autopsy determined that Bruner died from multiple gunshot wounds and not from the fire, Santa Clara police said.

According to court documents, Watts told police he took a .45-caliber handgun from a safe in his father's bedroom and stashed it in his room shortly before the killing.

Court documents allege he shot his father in the head at close range Monday, then set the body on fire because it was too heavy to carry to the backyard, where he had planned to bury it. Watts hid the gun and went to Taco Bell before calling 911 to report the fire, the documents said.

Watts' parents apparently were separated, and he had been staying at his mother's home since the fire, police said.

If convicted, Watts faces life in prison. He is not eligible for the death penalty because he's a juvenile.

Watts is expected to enter a plea during a Dec. 22 court appearance.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; patricide; teenagers

1 posted on 12/17/2005 12:48:10 PM PST by jdm
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To: jdm

I'd say he overreacted slightly.


2 posted on 12/17/2005 12:50:38 PM PST by lesser_satan
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To: jdm

Any bets that mom describes him as a "good boy" that "wouldn't hurt anyone"? Anyone? Bueller?


3 posted on 12/17/2005 12:53:57 PM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: jdm

Whatever happened to running away? Why do this?

My Grandpa wrecked his Dad's brand-new automobile before he even could take the insurance out on it. He joined the Navy the next day.


4 posted on 12/17/2005 12:56:47 PM PST by scott7278 (Before I give you the benefit of my reply, I'd like to know what we're talking about.)
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To: randog
"Any bets that mom describes him as a "good boy" that "wouldn't hurt anyone"? Anyone? Bueller?"

Exactly. He's just "misunderstood."
5 posted on 12/17/2005 12:57:00 PM PST by jdm
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To: lesser_satan

I'd say he overreacted slightly


----Just a bit, don't ya think? Kids these days. I swear.


6 posted on 12/17/2005 12:57:01 PM PST by WasDougsLamb (I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man)
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To: jdm
Caller: Hello, my house is on fire.

911 Dispatcher: Where are you?

Caller: I'm at Taco Bell.

7 posted on 12/17/2005 12:57:02 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: 2Fro; all_mighty_dollar; Arkat Kingtroll; Battle Hymn of the Republic; Betis70; billycat95130; ...

Click for San Jose International, California Forecast
Send FReepmail if you want on/off SVP list
Silicon Valley Slang
The List of Ping Lists

8 posted on 12/17/2005 12:57:39 PM PST by martin_fierro (It's NOT all about The O)
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To: jdm

Wonder why the different surnames.


9 posted on 12/17/2005 1:00:19 PM PST by somedaysoon
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To: randog
This reminds me so much of when I was a kid, this girl in my class would be deathly afraid to go home and show her dad her report card. She'd literally be crying and shaking at the thought of his reaction to her poor grades. I remember her saying her dad was going to "beat the crap" out of her when she got home. Her sister was an A student who got doted upon, but this girl struggled with school. I don't think she slacked off or didn't try..she just didn't get good grades. I remember hating her dad and thinking he was such a cruel bully. But still, it's no excuse for offing him.
10 posted on 12/17/2005 1:01:13 PM PST by ladiesview61
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To: ladiesview61

I misread this at first -- I thought you were the one who said her Dad was going to beat her up. I thought, "Some compassionate friend you are!"

LOL.


11 posted on 12/17/2005 1:04:06 PM PST by scott7278 (Before I give you the benefit of my reply, I'd like to know what we're talking about.)
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To: jdm
So...this kid felt that the penalty for murder and arson would be less severe than the punishment for failing a couple of classes?
Right. Got it.
12 posted on 12/17/2005 1:06:46 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (This is my tagline. There are many like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

"So...this kid felt that the penalty for murder and arson would be less severe than the punishment for failing a couple of classes?"

Yeah, but, at least he doesn't have to face dad now. [ \s ]


13 posted on 12/17/2005 1:08:19 PM PST by jdm
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Well, it's times like this when one realizes that kids aren't just midget adults..


14 posted on 12/17/2005 1:08:35 PM PST by AntiGuv (™)
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To: somedaysoon
"Wonder why the different surnames."

Think it's his step-dad he allegedly murdered.
15 posted on 12/17/2005 1:09:06 PM PST by jdm
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To: martin_fierro

That nasty red ink... no good ever comes from it!


16 posted on 12/17/2005 1:09:30 PM PST by johnny7 (“Check out the big brain on Brett!”)
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To: ladiesview61

In high school my psychology teacher told me she had to call my dad about my grade. I went into a big thing about how she couldn't do that. She tried to drag out why. It was just that I was so afraid of the disappointment my dad would have in me. She ended up not calling. But, I felt guilty enough that I told him anyhow.


17 posted on 12/17/2005 1:10:56 PM PST by HungarianGypsy (`)
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To: ladiesview61
This reminds me so much of when I was a kid, this girl in my class would be deathly afraid to go home and show her dad her report card. She'd literally be crying and shaking at the thought of his reaction to her poor grades. I remember her saying her dad was going to "beat the crap" out of her when she got home. Her sister was an A student who got doted upon, but this girl struggled with school.

Your friend's father sounds like a bully - or a sadist. Beyond cruel...

18 posted on 12/17/2005 1:13:39 PM PST by GOPJ (War on Christmas? Celebrate the sweetness of forbidden customs -deck the halls with boughs of holly.)
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To: jdm
"A 15-year-old boy allegedly killed his father, then set their home on fire because he was afraid his father would find out he was failing some classes, prosecutors said."

LoL when I first read this it sounded like.. Boy kills his dad.. Then gets afraid that his now dead dad will find out about him failing classes.. So he sets the house on fire... But that wouldn't make any sense...
19 posted on 12/17/2005 1:16:47 PM PST by IranIsNext
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To: martin_fierro

Hah hah, "See me after class" doesn't seem to be such a bad thing for 14 year old boys to see written on their paper nowadays. ;-) That is, unless it is their Gym Teacher who wrote it.. ::shivers::


20 posted on 12/17/2005 1:20:54 PM PST by IranIsNext
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To: IranIsNext
"That is, unless it is their Gym Teacher who wrote it."

My gym teacher wasn't all that bad.

[ \wishful thinking ]


21 posted on 12/17/2005 1:24:25 PM PST by jdm
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To: jdm

And this kid gets a C- in Murder. Could've gotten it pushed up to a B if he had just skipped the fire and fled to Mexico before anyone notices something is up. He is in California after all. I wonder if his dad would have been happy with that grade. Our Government schools today!


22 posted on 12/17/2005 1:26:26 PM PST by IranIsNext
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To: AntiGuv

They're far, FAR worse!;)


23 posted on 12/17/2005 1:27:27 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: mhking

just damn


24 posted on 12/17/2005 1:29:20 PM PST by King Prout (many accuse me of being overly literal... this would not be a problem if many were not under-precise)
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To: jdm

Lucky ball...


25 posted on 12/17/2005 1:29:29 PM PST by IranIsNext
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To: IranIsNext

"Lucky ball..."

LOL!


26 posted on 12/17/2005 1:31:36 PM PST by jdm
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To: ladiesview61
I remember the exact same scenario with a couple of kids that I went to school with.

I wish parents would realize not all kids are going to get good grades. And some kids are "late bloomers".

My daughter and I are so much alike. I never gave her a hard time about her grades unless she was getting in trouble for behavioral problems. We both got C's in grade and high school, but something about going to college and studying what you really need to learn for a life ... she and I both got A's and B's in college.

27 posted on 12/17/2005 1:40:34 PM PST by manwiththehands ("Merry Christmas .... and Happy New Year ... you can take your seat now ...")
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
So...this kid felt that the penalty for murder and arson would be less severe than the punishment for failing a couple of classes?

With thinking like that there is no wonder he got bad grades.

I think grades are overrated. School should be just for making out with the teach and students. They'll have plenty of time to study when they are sitting around drawing welfare and unemployment checks.

28 posted on 12/17/2005 1:46:02 PM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
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To: jdm

stupid kid just failed life


29 posted on 12/17/2005 2:13:45 PM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: jdm
My son's coming home from college with his first sememsters grades....I think I'll call his cell and tell him I love him no matter what his grades are. ( and hide the gas cans)
30 posted on 12/17/2005 2:19:23 PM PST by DainBramage (For a good time call Dainbramage 555-BIG-DUDE)
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To: jdm

It's the gun's fault, of course.


31 posted on 12/17/2005 2:25:12 PM PST by RightOnTheLeftCoast (You're it)
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To: DainBramage

smart move....

You never know what kind of story they told to their 'friends'
from the S side of Chicago

And where you hide your gold....


32 posted on 12/17/2005 2:36:13 PM PST by joesnuffy (A camel once bit my sister-we knew just what to do- gather large rocks & squash her-Mullet Ho'mar)
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To: IranIsNext

I was about to post the same conclusion, perhaps the author of that sentence had a more understanding father.


33 posted on 12/17/2005 2:44:47 PM PST by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
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To: jdm
Parricide. Well he got a failing grade - life in prison!

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie.Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

34 posted on 12/17/2005 3:18:33 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: jdm
" A 15-year-old boy allegedly killed his father, then set their home on fire because he was afraid his father would find out he was failing some classes, prosecutors said."

Is this the wonderful real world "socialization" that government school defenders are always praising?
36 posted on 12/17/2005 3:39:41 PM PST by wintertime
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: jdm
No. You should not kill your father. But, this did not happen in a vacuum. Seems that Dad may have been a little too hard core to cause his son to do such a thing.

Mine was - but, I never found his gun.

38 posted on 12/17/2005 4:18:56 PM PST by don-o (Don't be a Freeploader. Do the right thing. Become a Monthly Donor! '98'er)
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To: goldstategop

Still hate that red s*it you tag all your posts with. Never read a word you post


39 posted on 12/17/2005 4:27:25 PM PST by don-o (Don't be a Freeploader. Do the right thing. Become a Monthly Donor! '98'er)
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To: manwiththehands

Ninth Grade Algebra class,1961.Each kid had to come to the teacher's desk to get their grade.Mine was an F as was my Gen Science grade and a D in Latin.The teacher singled me out as a "prime candidate for academic probation and continuation school".Scared the crap out of me and shamed me terribly.
Parents didn't blow up at me cause they knew I was trying.I just wasn't ready to take college prep classes then.I ended up graduating from college with a B average and then got my teaching credential and Masters.
Never taught Algebra though!


40 posted on 12/17/2005 4:31:22 PM PST by Riverman94610
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To: don-o; goldstategop
What are you Ryan Watts. You're not hiding any guns or gas cans are you?
41 posted on 12/17/2005 4:41:07 PM PST by Bear_Slayer
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To: Riverman94610
That's a great story. A masters degree! Woo Hoo! Super, dude! I like teachers because my dad is still teaching as a substitute even in his retirement years. He loves it and won't quit until he's dead!

I'll bet you're parents were as proud of you as much as I am proud of my kid, too.

And I got nothing but C's and D's in algebra in high school ... but in my Air Force electronics tech classes I made "honor grad" (better than 90% average) and in college I aced math review and made B's in all my calculus.

It just took me a while to figure out what I wanted to learn in my life. :-)

42 posted on 12/17/2005 6:16:07 PM PST by manwiththehands ("Merry Christmas .... and Happy New Year ... you can take your seat now ...")
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To: Bear_Slayer
Denny Crane only looks dumb. But as he wagered in trying a fellow lawyer's case, if its a necessity defense, that's simple. Let the other side muddy the waters. The law isn't everything; its a means to an end. Heck, I'd like to see attorneys being allowed to shoot loathsome clients. That would make justice happen a lot faster. ;-)
p> (Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie.Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
43 posted on 12/17/2005 6:23:33 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: jdm

This brings back memories. I remember that long walk back home with a bad report card knowing full well that I was going to get a whipping. The dread was the worse thing. Still, it never occured to me to kill and burn down the house. I suspect there was more going on in this kid's house than what the report says.


44 posted on 12/24/2005 7:45:43 AM PST by thathamiltonwoman
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