A 12-year-old boy in Milwaukee has been accused of killing his neighbor in order to steal the man’s guns.
The boy was charged as an adult with first-degree murder after police found Brandon Felton, 34, dead in his home on March 18 with a gunshot wound to his head, according to the criminal complaint obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Police said the man was killed three days earlier. A cellphone number found on a pizza delivery receipt inside Felton‘s home led police to the boy, whom the Journal Sentinel did not name because of his age.
During a meeting with the boy and his mother, the boy at first lied to authorities about being at Felton‘s home on the night of his death. After police pressed the boy, he then said that he witnessed a friend named “Sam” shoot Felton and take his AR-15 and shotgun.
Authorities say they found text messages on the boy’s phone from a week before the shooting that suggested he wanted to steal Felton‘s AR-15. Those texts included a location pin dropped on Felton‘s home.
The boy’s mother contacted police days later to say her son had lied because he was scared, according to the police.
She told police that her son and his friends asked to buy guns from Felton, but he refused. That’s when the boy used a gun he brought to Felton‘s house to shoot him, according to police.
Text messages on the boy’s phone suggested that he intended on killing Felton, including messages that said “I’m gonna do it to Brandan [sic]” and the child saying he was going to “belt” Felton so he doesn’t retaliate against the boy’s family.
Wisconsin law allows children as young as 10 to be charged with homicide in certain cases. His bail was set at $100,000 and he is likely being held at a juvenile detention facility.
• Matt Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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