Video: 8-year-old describes shooting dad

updated 5/1/2009 11:47:05 AM ET 2009-05-01T15:47:05

A judge decided that a 9-year-old boy accused in the fatal shootings of his father and another man will continue his education at a county juvenile detention center.

Apache County Superior Court Judge Michael Roca settled the lingering issue during a hearing Thursday.

Defense attorneys had been pushing for the boy to be tutored through the school district, while county attorney Michael Whiting has said he was unsure the issue was worth pressing, given the time left in the school year. He said he preferred to wait until evaluations of the youth are complete.

The boy was a third-grader at a St. Johns elementary school when he was arrested in the Nov. 5 shooting deaths of his father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero, and his father's roommate, 39-year-old Timothy Romans.

The boy pleaded guilty in February to negligent homicide in Romans' death, and prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of premeditated murder stemming from Romero's death as part of a plea deal.

The deal prohibited the boy from enrolling in any public or private school unless evaluations determine that he doesn't pose a threat to himself or anyone else. Two experts have evaluated the boy, but the findings haven't been submitted to the court.

The boy hasn't been formally educated since his arrest, and it's unclear how often he would receive schooling at the detention center. A court spokeswoman, Billie Hoover, said it would be a couple of hours in the afternoon and likely wouldn't include weekends.

"We'll see how this goes," defense attorney Benjamin Brewer said. "We certainly wanted more and wanted it different. If we can't get that, this will have to do for now."

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 21.

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