Family of 9-year-old charged with mother's murder: 'He doesn't know what he did'
STURGIS, Mich. –
The family of a nine-year-old boy who is charged in Michigan with killing his mother says he doesn’t know what he did, claiming mental health played a role in the tragedy.
Court documents say that boy faces two charges; one count of open murder and one count of felony firearm.
Harley Martin, the boy’s sister, says he doesn’t understand why he can’t come home.
"He doesn't know what he did. He doesn't understand what's going on right now at all.”
It’s been three days since Pauline Randol, the boy’s 51-year-old mother, was found dead in her home.
Court documents show the son is charged with killing Randol with a rifle.
Family says the son was adopted after being born to woman addicted to meth. They add the boy had mental health issues.
Kristine Kirsch, the chief executive officer for Community Mental Health Services in St. Joseph County says they have about 280 children as patients. She also says there’s only a handful of places to find help.
“I don’t think there’s ever enough resources,” said Kirsch. “We don’t have as many as like Kalamazoo, so access is an issue.”
Even so, Martin says she knows despite what he’s accused of doing her mom wouldn’t want people to solely blame her adopted son.
"She would do it all over again if she had to, and that’s the messed up part," Martin said. "I know she’s at peace. I know she still loves him and I know she would not want people thinking bad of him."
Under Michigan law a child under the age of 10 is given the presumption of incompetency.
For that reason the juvenile court in St. Joseph County is giving no or comment on the case.
The attorney representing the boy released a statement saying in part, “It is important to keep focused of the future and long term impact these proceedings and charges may have on a child of this age.”
The St. Joseph County Sheriff says the boy did have a psychiatric evaluation after his arrest.
The boy is still being held in a juvenile justice facility.