The New York Times , May 5, 1999

Teen Charged With Murdering Father
By The Associated Press

HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A 13-year-old boy was charged with murder for shooting his father in the back of the head, a killing the boy's lawyer described as self-defense.

The boy did not speak Tuesday as a juvenile court entered an innocent plea on his behalf. He was ordered held in a juvenile home.

His attorney, Marc Hart, said the father, Johnny Gray, was a physically abusive alcoholic, and the shooting was justified.

``Not to be disrespectful of the dead, but he was a mean drunk,'' he said.

The boy his father in the back of the head with a .357 magnum as the man sat at a kitchen table on Sunday, said Police Chief James Caygill.

The father fell to the ground, then the boy shot him twice more, he said.

``It's mind-boggling. You shoot the guy in the back of the head, he falls down and you shoot him again. Sounds planned to me,'' Caygill said.

If convicted as a juvenile, the boy could be held until he is 21. If convicted as an adult, he could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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