- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 6, 2016

An 11-year-old Tennessee boy will spend the rest of his childhood in jail after a judge found him guilty of murdering an 8-year-old girl during an argument over the girl’s puppy. 

Benjamin Tiller was found guilty Monday of first degree murder for the October death of McKayla Dyer

Police said the boy used his father’s shotgun to kill his neighbor after the girl refused to let him play with her new puppy, a local ABC affiliate reported.

The third-grade girl, her 11-year-old sister and their friend, another 11-year-old girl, were playing outside of McKayla’s home in a mobile home park in White Pine, Tenn. on Oct. 3

Benjamin saw the girls outside from his bedroom window next door and asked the girls to get their puppies, but the girls refused. 

Then Benjamin got his 12-gauge shotgun and a BB gun and told the girls that he had guns, according to court documents reviewed by ABC. 

McKayla laughed at him and said the weapons were not real. 

As she laughed, the boy “then made certain the gun was loaded, cocked the hammer on the gun and shot the victim just above the heart at a downward trajectory,” the Jefferson County Judge Dennis “Will” Roach II wrote. 

The girl fell backward, “quickly lost consciousness, and was later confirmed dead,” the judge wrote. 

Benjamin was sentenced to state custody until he turns 19.

“A child who commits first-degree murder cannot be willy-nilly turned loose into society,” the judge wrote, ABC reported.

Benjamin has five siblings — three brothers and two sisters — who have been placed with relatives and the state. He had been trained in firearm safety and frequently went hunting with his father.

McKayla’s mother said her daughter had long been bullied by the boy, whom she also went to school with.

“He was making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her,” Latasha Dyer said in October. “I had to go the principal about him and he quit for a while, and then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her.”   

Benjamin’s family said they plan to appeal the court ruling. 


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