Updated as of 12/9/2022 at 4:30 p.m. ET
A 10-year-old boy has been charged as an adult after shooting and killing his mother in Milwaukee, per TMJ4 News. He made his first virtual court appearance since the incident. Local activists expressed unease with the progression of the case.
“How can a 10-year-old help defend himself?” asked Sylvester Jackson, leader of Believers for Change, per TMJ4. “Let’s keep this situation where it needs to be, which is juvenile court, and let’s get him mental health.”
Think about it. The boy appeared for his virtual court appearance Wednesday afternoon, with his face hidden by the judge’s request. His public defender requested to lower his cash bail from $50,000. At 10 years old, I was only concerned about my Littlest Pet Shops.
How could he understand the procedures of the courtroom? Some believe he’s too young to be judged so harshly.
“We look at the brain science of adolescences and we need to treat children as exactly who they are, children,” said Sharlen Moore, executive director for Urban Underground, via TMJ4.
In Wisconsin, children convicted of homicide are sent to juvenile detention until they turn 17 and then they are sent to prison to serve the rest of their sentence.
Previous reporting on the case:
Nov. 21. police say the boy was playing with the gun, twirling it around his finger when it discharged, striking his mother, Quiana Mann, by accident. In a second interview with detectives, the report says the boy admitted to taking the gun the night before. He also said he grabbed the gun because he was mad at his mother for waking him up early and not buying him something from online. The boy said he tried to shoot at the wall to “scare her” but instead Mann was struck fatally in the head.
His older sister told police the boy logged into Mann’s Amazon account the following morning to buy the Oculus Virtual Reality Headset - what his mother previously denied him. Although it’s unclear whether the boy had murderous intentions, his family’s comments on his behavior paint a disturbing picture of his temperament.
Read what they said from TMJ4 News:
The complaint says the boy’s 26-year-old sister told detectives he has had “rage issues” all of his life and “five different imaginary people that talk to him.”
A therapist previously gave the boy a “concerning diagnosis” and the mother had placed cameras inside the home to watch him, according to the complaint. Two weeks prior to the woman’s murder, “someone had unplugged these cameras.”
The complaint says a family member also alleged that the boy would pick their puppy up by the tail and “swing the puppy around until it whined and howled in pain.” This occurred when the boy was allegedly four-years-old.
An aunt told detectives that the boy never cried or showed remorse following his mother’s death. The complaint alleges the 10-year-old told his aunt that he was “actually aiming the gun at his mother.” The day after his mother’s death, the aunt said he apologized for killing his mom and then asked if his Amazon package arrived.
The child is being charged as an adult with first-degree reckless homicide and faces a maximum of 60 years in prison if convicted. That means this boy would miss out on every graduation, every special ceremony or potentially the chance to get married and have kids. Traditionally, in the state of Wisconsin, you must be 17 years or older to be charged as an adult. It’s worth questioning if the child is being dealt with fairly given the criminalization of Black boys.
Just a few months ago, a Black Alabama woman was fatally shot by her 12-year-old son and the case was ruled an accident. How is this case any different? How do the police know this Milwaukee boy understood the power of a firearm as well as the consequence behind pulling the trigger?
Political officials have yet to respond to the incident. Mayor Cavalier Johnson told TMJ4 News he’s still learning the details of the case.