- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - A Coeur d’Alene 16-year-old has been sentenced to prison time for the deaths of his father and brother.

Eldon Gale Samuel III received the 20-year sentence Monday in the death of his 13-year-old autistic brother Jonathan, with 10 years to be concurrently served for his father’s death.

Samuel was ordered to be moved from juvenile detention to an adult corrections facility.

He was 14 when he shot his father and brother multiple times.

Kootenai County Public Defender John Adams had argued Samuel should remain in juvenile custody until 19 or 21 years old.

“This is not a bad kid,” Adams said. “We can look at the circumstances of his life, and we can understand why it happened. He got there because he was a traumatized kid.”

He said in court that Samuel was influenced by his father’s delusions. “He trained him for the zombie apocalypse,” Adams told jurors.

The teen said in court that he’s changed in the two years since he’s been in jail.

“That’s not an excuse for what I did that night,” Samuel said. “I lost my dad and my brother, Johnny, my own little brother.”

Samuel asked for mercy.

District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson said he’d never forget the evidence in the case, and that Samuel would need long-term treatment.

“Nobody should have to go through what he went through,” Simpson told the courtroom. “This case has been a tragedy since Eldon was 5 years old.”

The judge took into account the risk for future violence. Mental health experts testified Samuel exhibited signs of reactive attachment disorder that was likely tied to neglect from his parents while he was a small child.

Experts also said Samuel could react violently when he feels cornered or threatened.

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