10-Year-Old Boy Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter

A 10-year-old boy about to stand trial on a murder charge for shooting his little sister with a hunting rifle pleaded guilty Tuesday to the less serious charge of manslaughter.

Prosecutors and the boy’s attorney, with support from the family, endorsed the plea bargain. Brandon Roses could be sentenced within 30 days.

“We feel it will help us to heal and get on with our lives,” the boy’s father, David Roses, told reporters. “We feel it’s best for Brandon. And it’s appropriate for what happened.”

Brandon is too young for reform school or prison but Circuit Judge John Lowe could send him to a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children.

The boy was 9 on June 23, when he got his father’s rifle, loaded it with cartridges from a footlocker, leveled the weapon at his 5-year-old sister Charolette and pulled the trigger, authorities said.

William L. Leverette Jr., a social worker, said Brandon got mad at his sister when she refused to go to her room while he was baby-sitting her and their 6-year-old brother at home in Mulino, 20 miles south of Portland.

Leverette testified in August that the fifth-grader shot his sister “in a fit of anger.”

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