A Wake County judge has found probably cause of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the cases against the teenage children of a man found murdered in his home in October. The 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son were originally charged as juveniles. Because they were under 18 at the time of the murder, the death penalty is not an option.
The teens’ mother, who was the victim’s long-time girlfriend, may face the death penalty. She also has been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Authorities believe she and her daughter planned and committed the murder. The role the son played is not clear from reports, but friends of the family told police that the three had planned the killing and cleaned up afterward to conceal evidence.
The medical examiner reported that the man’s death was the result of blunt force trauma and “consistent with homicide.” The body had been dismembered and stored in a basement freezer for some months — since 2009, according to authorities. The mother and children had not lived in the house for several months by the time police conducted the search. Further details of the crime, including possible motives, have not been disclosed.
Although charges have been filed, no indictments have been handed down. A grand jury will probably review the cases against the three in early January, at which time indictments will be filed.
Juvenile court usually handles cases with defendants age 16 and under. In certain circumstances, as in this case, the minors can be transferred to the adult court system. While the daughter is 17 now, authorities believe she was 16 at the time of the murder.
Resource: Raleigh News-Observer “Teens could be charged as adults in freezer killing” 12/21/10