In 1999, 12-year-old Curtis Fairchild Jones and his 13-year-old sister, Catherine, were the youngest children to be tried for and convicted of murder. Florida Today reports that Curtis Jones may be freed, barring any setbacks, by the end of July, and his sister by the end of August.
According to the newspaper, the then-children, who claimed that they had been sexually abused, decided that they were going to kill their abuser—a male relative who had been living with the family at the time—along with their father and their father's girlfriend, who they believed knew of the abuse and did nothing to stop it.
A short-lived investigation by the Department of Children and Families "acknowledged signs of sexual abuse" but closed the investigation, Florida Today reports. Catherine claims that a few days later, after the report was closed, the male relative walked in while she was showering and pleasured himself while she stood crying in the corner.
She wrote in her journal that night: "I'm gonna kill everybody."
Catherine and her brother created a plan and decided that they would use their father's 9 mm gun, which was kept in their Florida home.
The 12- and 13-year-old shot and killed their father's girlfriend, Sonya Nicole Speights, 29, and then freaked out. They ran into the woods near their house and were caught a day later. The story made national news, and Curtis Fairchild Jones became the country's youngest murderer. He and his sister both pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and were sentenced to 18 years in prison. Having served the majority of their sentences, both are set to be released and will be on probation for the rest of their lives.
Florida Today reports that Curtis Jones, now 29, is an ordained minister.
Read more at Florida Today.