Texas 12-year-old faces murder charges

Sept. 4, 2010 at 6:46 PM
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DALLAS, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A 12-year-old Texas girl and her 13-year-old boyfriend will face murder charges in the deaths of the girl's mother and stepfather, authorities say.

The mother, Darlene Nevil, was shot and killed in her Garland, Texas, home two weeks ago, and the stepfather, Alan Nevil, died Thursday after being in a coma with a gunshot wound in his neck, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The girl and her boyfriend will face a capital murder charge, which could mean a prison sentence of 40 years, the maximum sentence for juveniles, police said.

The mother and daughter had a rocky relationship and were sometimes estranged from other family members, court records show.

Cases of girls 12 years old or younger being arrested in the deaths of their mothers are rare, according to FBI data, with only about a dozen in the last 30 years.

"It's extremely rare," said Kathleen Heide, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida.

A number of girls who murder have a male accomplice, but the boys aren't always the instigators, she said.

"They might come up with the wild idea that they will kill the parent and the two can be together happily forever," Heide said. "But they haven't thought about how they are going to support themselves. It's so impulsive. They aren't thinking about consequences."

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