Nine Step Reid Technique

9 Step Reid Technique to get Police Confessions

The use of the Reid Technique is prohibited in Great Britain on youth because of the incidences of false confessions and the wrongful convictions that flow in result

Interview vs Interrogation


The word "interview" refers to a non-accusatory question and answer session with a witness, victim or a suspect.


Interrogation, on the other hand, is an accusatory process -- accusatory only in the sense that the investigator tells the suspect that there is no doubt as to his guilt. The interrogation is in the form of a monologue presented by the investigator, rather than a question and answer format.

Many courts have held that the psychological pressure exerted during a Reid interrogation is profound (see Culombe v. Connecticut, 367 U.S. 568, 573 (U.S. 1961).)

Effectively the interrogator, in an unrelenting manner, with the conclusion of guilt resolutely formed in his mind, will grind the suspect down, convince him or her that irrespective of their factual innocence, they are guilty.

Step 1

Step 1 - Direct Confrontation. Lead the suspect to understand that the evidence has led the police to the individual as a suspect. Offer the person an early opportunity to explain why the offence took place.

Step 2

Step 2 - Try to shift the blame away from the suspect to some other person or set of circumstances that prompted the suspect to commit the crime. That is, develop themes containing reasons that will justify or excuse the crime. Themes may be developed or changed to find one to which the accused is most responsive.

Step 3

Step 3 - Never allow the suspect to deny guilt. Reid training video: "If you’ve let him talk and say the words ‘I didn’t do it’, and the more often a person says ‘I didn’t do it’, the more difficult it is to get a confession."

Step 4

Step 4 - At this point, the accused will often give a reason why he or she did not or could not commit the crime. Try to use this to move towards the confession.

Step 5

Step 5 - Reinforce sincerity to ensure that the suspect is receptive.

Step 6

Step 6 - The suspect will become quieter and listen. Move the theme discussion towards offering alternatives. If the suspect cries at this point, infer guilt.

Step 7

Step 7 - Pose the “alternative question”, giving two choices for what happened; one more socially acceptable than the other. The suspect is expected to choose the easier option but whichever alternative the suspect chooses, guilt is admitted.

Step 8

Step 8 - Lead the suspect to repeat the admission of guilt in front of witnesses.

Step 9

Step 9 - Document the suspect's admission and have him or her sign a confession

The Reid Technique has three weakness

  • announcement of guilt
  • leading questions to obtain incremental agreement
  • assumptive close
The Reid Technique has three main places of weakness. The initial announcement of guilt, the use of leading questions to obtain incremental agreement, and the assumptive close. Each of these can be challenged individually and all of them rely on the assumption that the interrogator is a credible source of information. The webmaster only real way to deal with the 9 Step Reid Technique is to take the 5th and refuse to answer any questions. I assume this web site says these methods can be used in countries that don't have the Fifth Amendment and require you to submit to police questioning and answer questions forced on you with the 9 Step Reid Technique. The initial opener can be challenged by denying guilt and forcing the interrogator to explain and justify his beliefs. Making personal questioning attacks on the interrogator's honesty and sincere intentions can quickly create a hostile atmosphere that is not conducive to successful interrogation. Leading questions can be challenged on the premise that things that did not occur, and are speculative in nature. Consistently pointing out the speculative nature of statements/nature made by the interrogator and refusing to give personal opinions, prevents incremental agreement. Again creating opportunities to express skepticism and hostility to the interrogation process. The assumptive close can be neutralised by preventing the creation of a "compliant atmosphere" and by pointing out that both forks of the question are invalid.

For $45 you can get a Reid Manual!

You're guilty, you probably didn't realize it Its brainwashing rubbish!

A PDF document from the Reid folks themselfs!!!!

how stuff works Before the nine steps of the Reid interrogation begin, there's an initial interview to determine guilt or innocence. It should be noted here that if, at any point during the interrogation, the suspect does somehow manage to ask for a lawyer or invoke his right to silence, the interrogation has to stop immediately. That's why it's so important to interrupt the suspect's attempts to speak in the initial stages -- if he invokes his rights, the interrogation is over. When You've Got Company The Just Cause Law Collective warns that if you're arrested with friends, you've got to keep a cool head. Decide beforehand that no one's going to say a word until everyone has a lawyer, and remind yourself that police will try to play on the natural paranoia that arises when people are separated. The Collective offers a further warning regarding a group arrest: When you have your strategy discussion, don't do it in the back seat of a police car. If the officers stuffed you all into one car and walked away, they're recording you.

the fact that detectives sometimes end up with confessions from the innocent testifies to their expertise in psychological manipulation. No two interrogations are alike, but most exploit certain weaknesses in human nature. These weaknesses typically rely on the stress that results when people experience contrasting extremes, like dominance and submission, control and dependence, and the maximization and minimization of consequences. Even the most hardened criminal can end up confessing if the interrogator can find the right combination of circumstances and techniques based on the suspect's personality and experiences. In the United States, scholars estimate that somewhere between 42 percent and 55 percent of suspects confess to a crime during interrogation. Police interrogations weren't always so complex. Until the early 1900s in the United States, physical abuse was an acceptable (if not legal) method of getting a confession. Confessions obtained by "third degree" techniques -- deprivation of food and water, bright lights, physical discomfort and long isolation, beating with rubber hoses and other instruments that don't leave marks -- were usually admissible in court as long as the suspect signed a waiver stating the confession was voluntary. Between the 1930s and 1960s, though, a crackdown on police tactics gradually changed the practice of interrogation. While the Supreme Court had ruled as early as 1897 against involuntary confessions, it was in 1937 that things really started to change. In the case Brown v. Mississippi, the Supreme Court threw out a "voluntary" confession that was obtained after police officers repeatedly strung a suspect up in a tree and whipped him. The Court's decision was clear: Confessions obtained by force cannot be used as evidence at trial. By the 1950s, confessions were considered involuntary not only if police beat the suspect, but also if they held a suspect for an unnecessarily extended period of time, deprived him of sleep, food, water or bathroom facilities, promised some benefit if the suspect confessed or threatened some harm if he didn't. In looking for a replacement for illegal forms of coercion, police turned to fairly basic psychological techniques like the time-honored "good cop bad cop" routine, in which one detective browbeats the suspect and the other pretends to be looking out for him. People tend to trust and talk to someone they perceive as their protector. Another basic technique is maximization, in which the police try to scare the suspect into talking by telling him all of the horrible things he'll face if he's convicted of the crime in a court of law. Fear tends to make people talk Some polygraph analysts, including a man named John Reid, began noticing that subjects exhibited certain outward, consistent physical signs that coincided with the polygraph's determination of untruthfulness. Reid went on to develop a non-machine-based system of interrogation based on specific types of questions and answers that uncover weaknesses the interrogator can use against a suspect to obtain a confession. Reid's "Nine Steps" of psychological manipulation is one of the most popular interrogation systems in the United States today.

Five Techniques of Surviving a Police Interrogation (Without Confessing) Taken from freeBEAGLES' recommendations for animal rights' activists (and others) on how to make it through a police interrogation without incriminating themselves or their peers: Remain silent. Remain silent. Imagine the words "I invoke my right to remain silent" painted on the wall, and stare at them throughout the interrogation. Momentarily break your silence to ask for counsel. Cultivate hatred for your interrogator so you don't fall into his traps and start talking.

a lot of the human rights concerns surrounding police interrogation have to do with the fact that psychological interrogation techniques bear an uncanny resemblance to "brainwashing" techniques. The interrogator is attempting to influence the suspect without the suspect's consent, which is considered an unethical use of psychological tactics. A lot of the techniques used to cause discomfort, confusion and insecurity in the brainwashing process are similar to those used in interrogation: Invading a suspect's personal space Not allowing the suspect to speak Using contrasting alternatives Positioning confession as a means of escape The more stress a suspect experiences, the less likely he is to think critically and independently, making him far more susceptible to suggestion. This is even more true when the suspect is a minor or is mentally ill, because he may be poorly equipped to recognize or fight off manipulative tactics. A process designed to cause someone so much stress that he'll confess just to escape the situation is a process that leaves itself open to false confessions. Researchers estimate between 65 and 300 false confessions per year in the United States.

Some cases of false confessions We now have 5 confession coerced confessions in the Buddhist temple murders. Will the number of false confessions also rise to 5 in the temple murders or did Johnathan Doody really commit the murder? The first big break came in the Buddhist temple murder case when a guy in a mental institution in Tucson called the cops and told them he could help. He fingered 5 of his friends, who were taken to Phoenix, questioned and 4 of them were charged with the murders when they confessed. The next day all 4 said their confessions were coerced but still they all sat in Maricopa County jail for about a year waiting to go to trial. The charges against the Tucson kids were dropped when Johnathan Doody and his buddy Alessandro Garcia were arrested with the murder weapon. The Tucson kids sued Maricopa County and won big bucks for their false arrests while Johnathan Doody and Alessandro Garcia were convicted of the murders and sent to prison. Well until now when we find out Johnathan Doody's confession was also coerced.


November 20, 2008 - 4:06PM

Updated: November 20, 2008 - 7:09PM

Court: Buddhist temple confession coerced

The Associated Press

TUCSON - A federal appeals court has ruled that a juvenile’s confession in the 1991 killings of nine people at a Buddhist temple near Phoenix was involuntary.

The ruling on Johnathan Doody’s appeal means that the then-17-year-old’s murder convictions will be overturned and he’ll be freed unless he’s retried or the government successfully appeals.

A spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said they plan to appeal the decision.

Doody was convicted in February 1994 and given a 281-year prison sentence for the slayings of six priests, a nun and two helpers during a robbery at the Wat Promkunaram temple west of Phoenix.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Thursday sent the case back to a federal judge in Phoenix to return it to state court.

Doody is serving nine consecutive life sentences and another 11 lesser sentences at an Arizona Department of Corrections facility at Buckeye.

“We’re delighted with this ruling,” said Vicky Eiger, who with law partner Alan Dershowitz, noted Harvard law professor and appellate attorney, handled Doody’s appeal over the last dozen years.

“They found that the Arizona Court of Appeals’ determination that Doody’s statements were voluntary was an 'unreasonable application’ of U.S. Supreme Court case law,” said Joseph Maziarz, assistant Arizona attorney general in charge of the criminal appeals section. “We obviously disagree.”

The appellate judges said Doody “was finally broken down by the ceaseless questioning of two, three and four police officers, questioning that continued despite his frequent long stretches of silence. Under these circumstances, we conclude, he did not voluntarily confess. The state court’s holding to the contrary was ... an 'objectively unreasonable’ application of clearly established federal law.”

The judges said that except for his confession and testimony of Alessandro Garcia, a 16-year-old friend, “the evidence against Doody was weak” and circumstantial.


Appeals court: Buddhist temple confession coerced

by Michael Kiefer - Nov. 20, 2008 07:08 PM

The Arizona Republic

A federal court of appeals on Thursday overturned the conviction of a West Valley man found guilty of killing nine people at a Buddhist temple west of Phoenix in 1991.

Jonathan Doody was one of two youths convicted of the infamous temple murders, and he has been serving nine life sentences in state prison since his conviction in 1994.

But, on Thursday, a panel of three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office forced a confession from Doody. The judges sent the case back to Maricopa County Superior Court for a new trial. "They used every trick in the book," his attorney, Alan Dershowitz, said. "They denied him the right to have a parent there. They created all the circumstances for false confession and they got it - a false confession."

Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor who has represented such high-profile clients as O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, Michael Milken and Claus von Bulow, said that he will seek to have Doody, now 34, released from prison pending his retrial.

But Kent Cattani, who handles appeals for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, said that he will ask the appellate court to reconsider the case en banc, that is by a larger panel of appeals court judges. And if that fails, the office will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case, Cattani said.

But those courts can turn down the request, requiring the case to be retried.

"It's always difficult to retry a case 15 or so years down the road," said Assistant Attorney General Joseph Maziarz, who argued the case before the 9th Circuit.

In August 1991, nine people were found dead at Wat Promkunaram, a Thai Buddhist temple west of Luke Air Force Base. They had been arranged in a circle and shot in the head execution-style.

Sheriff's investigators under then-Sheriff Tom Agnos first arrested four men from Tucson and got them to confess to the crime, although it was later determined that they were not involved. Three of them later sued for false arrest, and the episode led to Agnos' loss to Joe Arpaio in the 1992 election.

Doody, then 17 and a junior in high school, was arrested after investigators linked him to the murder weapon. He was born in Thailand but moved to Arizona after his mother married an airman stationed at Luke.

Doody and some friends allegedly sneaked into the monastery, robbed the people worshipping there and then lined them up and shot them.

One of his alleged accomplices, Alessandro Garcia, implicated Doody and testified against him in trial. Both were sentenced to multiple life sentences in prison.

But Doody's appeal rested on a 12-hour interrogation at the hands of sheriff's detectives. According to the ruling, Doody was read his Miranda rights but refused to answer questions for hours before he finally admitted he was involved in the murders. The detectives did not allow his parents to be present during the interview.

At about 2:30 a.m., after six hours of relentless questioning, Doody finally said the word "yes" when asked if he had been at the temple.

A half-hour later, he broke down, and by the time the interview ended the next morning, he was sobbing.

"In short," the ruling says, "Doody paints an overall picture of downplayed warnings, a softly induced waiver of rights and conduct conveying the message that Doody would not be left alone until he confessed, all targeted at an unsavvy, increasingly sleep-deprived teenager."

A jury convicted him of all nine murders and other crimes, and he was sentenced to nine consecutive life sentences and additional years.

His appeals languished in the federal-court system for nine years.

Dershowitz became involved at the request of Doody's stepfather.


November 21, 2008

Lawyers in St. Johns case say tape fueled 'media circus'

Judge again revises gag order to protect 8-year-old in murder case

by Dennis Wagner - Nov. 20, 2008 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

A judge in the murder case against an 8-year-old St. Johns boy revised his gag order for the third time in two weeks after the release of a videotaped confession created what defense lawyers described as "a media circus."

Judge Michael Roca of Apache County Juvenile Court said during a hearing Wednesday that he had sought to protect the child from speculation and gossip, but his gag orders only drew more attention to the case.

"What I wanted to do is put a cork on irresponsible rumor-mongering," Roca said. " . . . I shot myself in the foot, in several feet." The child, who is not being identified by The Arizona Republic, gave what police say is a confession one day after the Nov. 5 gunshot killing of his father and a family friend.

In a video that lasts more than an hour, the boy initially denies any role in the murders, but changes his story after detectives challenge his account.

The boy had no adult guardian or lawyer during the interrogation, nor was he given a Miranda warning advising him of his right to remain silent.

In court Wednesday, defense attorney Ron Wood blamed the judge for a nationwide news onslaught, saying, "The court's gag order . . . has turned this case into a media circus."

Roca originally issued a broad prohibition against anyone in the justice system divulging information about the case. He amended that directive twice to allow the release of public records as required by Arizona law.

On Monday, Apache County Attorney Criss Candelaria gave the media a video that was broadcast nationwide. He also released autopsy pictures and crime-scene photos.

Client is only 8 years old

Wood repeatedly emphasized that his client is just an 8-year-old, while pointing out that police, prosecutors and defense attorneys remain muzzled.

"The media got much of its disclosure before we did," he said. "As a practical matter, the only gag order that currently exists is that the people who know most about the case can't talk about it."

Roca, in turn, chastised the media in Arizona and nationwide for what he said was tasteless and insensitive news coverage. He said one Phoenix television station broadcast a recognizable image of the boy's face. Another used a boom microphone in an attempt to pick up sounds of inmates at the juvenile detention center. A Valley radio station broadcast from the courthouse in St. Johns, with reporters describing the ghoulish crime photos.

Media nationwide broadcast portions of the interview, a decision that Roca said was lacking in class.

During the hearing, David Bodney, an attorney for The Arizona Republic, asked Roca to revise the gag order again because it seems overly broad. The judge instead fired questions at Bodney: "How do I get the media's attention? Should I hold you hostage? Can I throw you in jail?"

Child will be protected

Roca said he would uphold Arizona's public-records law, but not at the expense of the child's welfare and future. He ruled that police reports may be released, but journalists will not be given film or tape-recordings of statements, only transcripts. If that order is violated, he warned, "there's a realistic chance that somebody's going to go to jail . . . I am chilling not just the speech, but I hope the blood" of media organizations.

Public airing of the confession prompted widespread criticism from juvenile advocates and justice-system experts who questioned why the boy was alone, and why the video was made public.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods said he believes the statement will be thrown out, and any evidence obtained exclusively as a result of it will also be dismissed.

Woods said it was apparent from the tape that police "were clearly trying to convince him to confess."

"I don't think there is any question that the questioning of this 8-year-old boy was inappropriate," Woods added. "The case law is pretty clear. You need to have someone there who is going to protect his rights, and that wasn't done."

Woods said he understands the intense public interest in such a case, noting that "whatever happened in that house is unimaginable." But he condemned the release of a confession video so early, showing a defendant so young.

"Doing so has hurt the boy's right to be treated fairly," Woods said.

During Wednesday's hearing, defense attorneys indicated their client is already traumatized.

"I have some information that he may not be doing well, aside from the fact that he's almost in solitary," Wood said.

Roca granted permission to hire a counselor to help the boy. The judge also approved a two-day furlough for the child to spend Thanksgiving with his birth mother. He told the woman, "You're on the hook. If he doesn't make it back (to custody), there's going to be a warrant for him, and for you."

'The minor is off-limits'

The judge then turned to the media and ordered journalists not to contact anyone in the family's household. "The minor is off-limits," Roca said. "I think common decency should protect him, but, just in case, he is not to be contacted."

In other rulings at Wednesday's hearing, the judge:

• Authorized prosecutors to obtain hair, saliva and blood samples, as well as fingerprints and X-rays from the child.

• Ordered prosecutors to decide within 15 days whether they will seek to have the boy tried as an adult.

• Instructed defense attorneys to obtain the juvenile's medical records and provide them to the prosecution.

Also on Wednesday, the court released transcripts of a Nov. 7 court hearing in which Apache County sheriff's Sgt. Webb Hogle told a prosecutor that the wife of the second victim urged him to speak with the boy the day after the killings.

She had been on the phone with her husband just before he was killed.

"She said she could hear (the boy) in the background yelling, 'Tim, I need you to come in here. Something's wrong with Dad,' " Hogle said. "She told me, she says, 'You need to talk to that little boy. He knows something. He was there when something bad happened to my husband.' "

Reporter Daniel Gonzales and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

I forgot to cite the Source

The police didn't not tell the kid about his right to remain silent. If they don't tell kids their rights do you think they tell adults?

November 7, 2008 - 8:59PM

8-year-old St. Johns boy arrested in 2 killings

The Associated Press

In a case that has "shocked" and "saddened" a small, rural eastern Arizona community, an 8-year-old boy has been charged in the shooting deaths of his father and another man.

The boy faces two counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39.

Police arrived at the victim's house he shared with his wife within minutes of the shooting Wednesday, said Roy Melnick, St. Johns police chief. They found one victim just outside the front door and the other dead in an upstairs room.

The boy initially denied involvement in the shooting that left the men with multiple gunshot wounds from a .22-calier rifle but later confessed, Melnick said Friday.

But defense attorney Benjamin Brewer said police overreached in questioning the boy without representation from a parent or attorney and did not advise him of his rights.

"They became very accusing early on in the interview," Brewer said. "Two officers with guns at their side, it's very scary for anybody, for sure an 8-year-old kid."

A judge determined at a hearing Friday that probable cause existed to believe the boy committed the murders and also ordered a psychological evaluation. The boy was being held at the Apache County juvenile detention facility.

Prosecutors are still evaluating the direction they want to take with the case. Chief Deputy Apache County attorney Brad Carlyon said "there's a ton of factors to be considered and weighed, including the juvenile's age. The counter balance against that, the acts that he apparently committed."

Carlyon said there was no indication that the boy had problems at home, and there was no record of any complaints with Arizona Child Protective Services.

"He had no record of any kind, not even a disciplinary record at school," he said. "He has never been in trouble before."

Romero and Romans were employees with a construction company that had a contract to do work at the Salt River Project power plant near St. Johns. Romans was renting a room at the Romero home, Carlyon said.

City Manager Greg Martin said "saddened" and "shocked," best described the sentiment of the community of about 4,000 people about 168 miles northeast of Phoenix.

"Not something that happens very often and hopefully never happens again," he said. "It's been on their minds every since it happened."

FBI statistics show instances of children younger than 11 committing homicides are very rare. According to recent FBI supplementary homicide reports, there were at least three such cases each year in 2003, 2004 and 2005; there were at least 15 in 2002. More recent statistics weren't available, nor were details of the cases.

Earlier this year in Arizona, prosecutors in Cochise County filed first-degree murder charges against a 12-year-old boy accused of shooting his mother to death.

Under Arizona law, a juvenile under 8 years old is treated as a dependent child. Charges can be filed against anyone 8 or older, which Melnick argued are warranted in this case. He said the child didn't act on the "spur of the moment," though he didn't elaborate on what the motive might have been.

High-profile defense attorney Mike Piccarreta, who is not involved in the case, said each case has to be considered on its merits, but it would be hard for him to comprehend that an 8-year-old has the mental capacity to understand the act of murder and its implications.

"If they actually prosecute the guy, it's a legal minefield," he said. "And, two, society has to make a decision as to whether they want to start using the criminal justice system to deal with 8-year-olds. That doesn't mean you don't have a troubled kid."

Wednesday's homicides were the first in at least four years in the community where most people know one another, Melnick said, noting that before that, no one had been killed there since 20 years ago.

Romero had full custody of the child. The boy's biological mother was visiting St. Johns over the weekend from Mississippi, and returned to Arizona after the shootings, Carlyon said.

Brewer, the defense attorney, said the child "seems to be in good spirits."

"He's scared," he said. "He's trying to be tough, but he's scared."

During Friday's hearing, in which about 40 community and family members attended, Brewer said officers nearly teared up each time he questioned them.

"It was such a tragedy," he said. "You have two people dead, you have an 8-year-old in jail. It tugs at the heart strings. It's a shocker, no doubt about it."


St. Johns boy, 8, suspected of double murder

Dad, 2nd man found shot to death; charges planned

by Dennis Wagner - Nov. 8, 2008 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

An 8-year-old boy faces double-murder charges in the shooting death of his father and another man while residents in the bucolic community of St. Johns try to make sense of the chilling crime.

"This is precedent-setting. We're going to charge an 8-year-old with two counts of homicide," Police Chief Roy Melnick said.

"We haven't had anything like this in Apache County in my 23 years as a prosecutor," County Attorney Criss Candelaria said. "We need to figure out what was going on in this boy's head." The child's father, 29, and a boarder, Tim Romans, 39, were found dead at the family residence about 5 p.m. Wednesday, shortly after neighbors reported the sound of gunfire. The Arizona Republic is withholding the father's and child's names to avoid identifying a juvenile.

Melnick said police discovered one of the bodies outside the front door, the other in an upstairs room.

St. Johns, the Apache County seat, is a sedate getaway in the high country of eastern Arizona. Its motto: "The Town of Friendly Neighbors." In an online report, the White Mountain Independent newspaper described the slayings as "a shocking tragedy" for the 3,500 residents.

Melnick said the child was near the crime scene when police arrived. The police chief declined to discuss a motive or say how the child came to have a firearm.

Homicides by preteens are extremely rare and present difficult questions for the justice system. Experts say children who kill typically are products of abuse. Once a charge is filed, authorities must deal with issues of culpability, custody and treatment.

The FBI's Uniform Crime Report lists no murder defendants under age 9 since 2005 and only three in the past five years nationally. A search of U.S. news articles uncovered few murder cases involving children as young as the suspect in St. Johns.

In a 1998 case, two Illinois defendants, ages 7 and 8, were accused of killing an 11-year-old but were exonerated. The youngest suspect was a 4-year-old Mississippi girl accused in 2002 of using a brick to kill her brother.

Jeremy Bach, sentenced to 22 years in prison, is among the youngest Maricopa County murder defendants convicted as an adult. At age 13, he shot a friend in 1995.

In 1993, a pair of Chandler girls, ages 11 and 12, were found delinquent in Juvenile Court for killing their adoptive mother.

Melnick said Arizona law generally holds that a child under age 10 lacks competency to be criminally responsible for a homicide.

However, he added, "we think an exception can be made based on the facts and circumstances" in the St. Johns case.

Candelaria said the state will not prosecute the child as an adult. That means the boy would not be sentenced to prison but could remain in juvenile detention until adulthood.

An initial appearance was scheduled Friday afternoon. The outcome was not available late Friday, but Candelaria said the judge likely would require psychological exams to determine competency.

Elaine Newlin, a public defender in Yavapai County who specializes in juvenile cases, said the court also must ascertain whether the boy is capable of understanding proceedings, assisting in his defense and entering a plea.

"I would say offhand that an 8-year-old can't," Newlin added. "This is really an unusual situation."

Although the legal issues are murky, Candelaria said, they are compounded by uncertainty about whether the child should remain in detention, be released to a relative or placed as a state ward.

"Where do we keep him?" he said. "It's obvious there's going to have to be a lot of evaluation."

Melnick said both victims worked at a nearby power plant. The child's stepmother was not home at the time, and there are no other children in the family, he said.














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