Image: Home near Chariton, Iowa
John Gaps III  /  AP
The body of Tony Peek, 37, was found in this rural home near Chariton, Iowa, on Wednesday. His 12-year-old stepson has been charged with murder.
updated 2/13/2010 5:06:24 AM ET 2010-02-13T10:06:24

A 12-year-old boy was charged Friday with murder and other counts in a shooting that killed his stepfather and wounded a girl in Iowa.

Authorities responded to a shooting Wednesday afternoon in Chariton, about 40 miles south of Des Moines. When they arrived at the white farmhouse south of town, they found the body of Todd Peek, 37, who authorities say was shot in his upper body.

Authorities said 5-year-old Cheyanne Peek was also found in the home with a gunshot wound to the leg. She was taken to a Des Moines hospital. On Friday, the hospital said it had no listing for the child but would not comment further and it was unclear if she had been released. Lucas County Attorney Paul Goldsmith declined to comment on the girl or her condition.

The boy's mother, Sarah Peek, 33, and another girl, age 7, were in the home at the time of the shooting, police say, but neither was wounded. Someone in the house called 911, but authorities declined to say who made the call or provide more details about the shooting.

The 12-year-old boy was seen leaving the house after the shooting and was later found about a half mile away and taken into custody, authorities said. Michael Motsinger of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has declined to specify where the boy was found.

The gun used in the crime was found in the home, but Motsinger also declined to identify the weapon, who owned it or how many shots were fired.

The boy was charged with first-degree murder for "willfully, deliberately and with premeditation" killing Peek, according to documents filed in Lucas County juvenile court by Goldsmith.

The 12-year-old was also charged with two counts of attempted murder including "the intent to cause the death" of his mother and a 5-year-old girl. The girl is not identified in the court papers, and it was not immediately clear the girl's relation to the boy.

The boy, who is also charged with willful injury, is being held in Polk County Juvenile Detention Center in Des Moines. The Associated Press does not name juveniles charged in a crime, and a telephone call to the boy's attorney, Jane Rosien, was not immediately returned.

Goldsmith on Friday declined to comment on the case.

The Des Moines Register on Friday reported that the boy's grandmother, Shirley Pearson, said she complained numerous times to officials at the Iowa Department of Human Services, including once last summer, that the boy's stepfather abused the child.

She told the newspaper that the department never acted on the complaints.

Pearson, of Boone, described the boy as a normal child who loved to fish and enjoyed playing baseball and soccer.

"He is a kid," she said. "He would get mad at us and go through his pouting, but still he never was a real discipline problem," she said.

A telephone message left for Shirley Pearson by the AP on Friday was not immediately returned.

Roger Munns, a spokesman for the Department of Human Services, declined to comment on whether the agency had received any abuse complaints.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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