MILWAUKEE – The 10-year-old Milwaukee boy accused of shooting and killing his mother through a virtual reality headset appeared in court on Wednesday, December 14 to face the adult charge. His lawyers asked the court to lower his bail.
The public defender argued that cash bail is used to ensure a defendant’s return to court. She said there was no reason to believe that this boy, whom the judge should not name or show us, would not appear in court in the future, but prosecutors and the judge disagreed.
Before a judge of the children’s court, the boy will be charged with murder as an adult on Wednesday.
“The nature, number and seriousness of the alleged offenses are significant,” said Judge Jane Carroll. “This is an extremely serious offence.”
An expanded criminal complaint filed Dec. 8 charges the boy with first-degree reckless homicide or, alternatively, first-degree premeditated homicide. Prosecutors say they will pursue one or the other.
“We believe both facts support either Count 1 or, alternatively, Count 2,” said Paul Dedinsky, assistant district attorney for Milwaukee County.
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Prosecutors said the boy shot and killed his mother at her home near 87th and Hemlock on November 21. He was initially placed with his family after the incident, but they called police with concerns the next day, saying he had anger issues.
Police said the boy later told them his mother wouldn’t give him a virtual reality headset and that he retrieved the gun because he was mad at her, and that he ordered the headset the day after his mother died.
Judge Carroll found probable cause in the complaint and set the boy’s bail at $50,000, even though his attorneys had set bail at $100 for lack of income.
“He told us about piggy banks of savings he had from gifts, birthday presents and rummaging through the couch for pillows that he could save,” said Public Defender Angela Cunningham.
“The facts of this case warrant substantial cash bail,” Judge Carroll said.
It was found in court that none of his relatives said they would act as his legal guardian if he were released.
The boy’s older sister told police he had a “history of anger” but on Wednesday his lawyers said they have no plans at this time to order a competency assessment.
If he were released, the defense wanted the boy to live with his father in Illinois.
The judge denied that request. He would have to stay in Milwaukee County.