Boy, 8, accused of intentionally killing 87-year-old woman in Louisiana
By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News
An 8-year-old boy intentionally shot and killed an 87-year-old woman at their home in Slaughter, La., authorities said Friday.
Marie Smothers was described only as the boy’s “current caregiver.” No other information was available on the relationship between the boy and Smothers, who police said was shot in the back of her head late Thursday afternoon as she watched television.
The boy, whose identity wasn’t released because he’s a juvenile, was released into the custody of his parents pending the investigation, the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Slaughter is a town of about 1,000 people near Baton Rouge, the state capital.
“Although the juvenile initially told investigators that he accidentally shot the victim while playing with a firearm, the investigation has led investigators to believe that the 8-year-old intentionally shot Mrs. Smothers in the back of the head as she sat in her living room watching television,” sheriff’s officials said in a statement.
“Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game, ‘Grand Theft Auto IV,’ a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred,” the statement said.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported that a man who answered the phone number listed for Smothers’ address insisted that “it was an accident.”
NBC station KPLC of Lake Charles, La., reported that Louisiana law prohibits authorities from charging the child with a crime because of his age.
CasecClosed2: And who said violent video games don’t affect a child’s behavior?