In yet another tragic twist in the case of the 11-year-old autistic boy that went missing and was found lifeless in a shallow grave near his home, his 16-year-old brother has now been charged with his murder and is set to stand trial.
via L.A. Times
The 16-year-old half-brother of the Menifee boy who went missing last weekend has been charged with murder, authorities said.
The boy was arrested Wednesday after authorities found the remains of Terry Smith Jr., 11, in a shallow grave near the family’s home.
Riverside County prosecutors said they will ask a juvenile court judge to determine whether the teen should be tried as an adult.
Some family members Thursday expressed disbelief at the developing news.
“The boys didn’t even disagree,” said Paula Smith, Terry’s aunt. “Other than the normal ‘leave me alone,’ the normal kid stuff, there was no violence ever,” she said. “It wasn’t allowed over there, so I don’t understand this at all.”
Terry Smith Sr., a retired truck driver who lives in West Virginia, said his ex-wife called him Sunday to ask if he was in California. He said he had been waiting for her to call and tell him when his son — nicknamed “Juju” — had finished school for the summer, so he could send a plane ticket for him to come to West Virginia.
Instead, she told him their son was missing.
More than 1,000 people, including people representing more than 20 California organizations, helped search for the lost 11-year-old boy in the following days.
His body was found early Wednesday morning by a female volunteer whose children spotted the human remains.
The 16-year-old suspect had just completed his sophomore year at Paloma Valley High School, said Jonathan Greenberg, superintendent of the Perris Union High School District.
What a horrific turn for this case to take after this family has already lost one child. We’ll keep you updated as this story continues to develop…