An 11-year-old boy who allegedly shot and killed his mother in Wisconsin colored and played with a toy in court this week as a judge deemed he would stand trial for the charge of first-degree intentional homicide.
The boy’s name is not being released to protect his identity, since it is still possible under existing Wisconsin law that he could be tried in juvenile court if the judge grants a waiver to reverse his current standing as an adult.
The boy’s mother, Quiana Mann, 44, was killed in November when Milwaukee police say the then-10-year-old child shot her in her right eye as she stood in the basement of her family home.
Footage captured from inside the courtroom Wednesday showed Milwaukee Police Detective Timothy Keller offering a stoic recounting of his interview with the boy after Mann was killed.
“Originally he informed me that he wasn’t sure what had occurred; that he had just found his mother in the basement and believed she was deceased,” Keller said. “He stated that he took up a shooting stance and was pointing the gun at her as she was walking towards him and asking him to put it down. And that’s when he indicated he fired the gun with his intent to scare her by shooting the wall behind her,” he added.
The boy’s recounting of events changed often according to Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV.
He told the detective the gun went off accidentally at one point. Then he said he thought it was a “confetti gun.” This was part of the reason why Keller opted to release him back to his family at first, the detective reportedly testified.
“I wanted to believe something like that was the truth and it wouldn’t come to this. Looking back at it, I may have overlooked other red flags that may have come up,” he said.
When police initially conducted the arrest, they also reportedly said the child had tried to conceal the gun that killed Mann and that he told an older sibling their mother was dead. An aunt reportedly claimed the child confessed to her that he had been aiming at his mother directly.
Police alleged the child had unlocked the gun from a safe that morning. He also allegedly told authorities he was angry with his mother because she woke him early that day and wouldn’t let him purchase an Oculus virtual reality headset.
Later, following an interview with the boy, Keller reportedly said family members told him they were concerned the reason the child shot Mann was because of the headset and her refusal to buy it for him.
This was reinforced, the family reportedly told police, when on the morning after her death, they discovered he purchased the headset on her Amazon account anyway.
Mann’s son appears in court next on Oct. 6 and it could be then that the judge decides whether it is appropriate to issue a reverse waiver and let him be tried through the juvenile system.
In July, when Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Jane Carroll deemed him competent to stand trial as an adult, he had been reviewed by two psychologists. They had opposing positions on whether he could really understand his alleged conduct.
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