Teens charged with killing Mo. couple to be tried as adults

April 24, 2013 at 12:33 PM
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GALENA, Mo., April 24 (UPI) -- Two teenagers charged with killing a Missouri couple after escaping from a juvenile residential facility will be tried as adults, a judge says.

Anthony Zarro, 17, of Spring, Texas, and Christopher Allen, 16, of Nashville, Tenn., were charged with first-degree murder Tuesday after Circuit Court Judge Alan Blankenship issued his ruling, the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader reported. Zarro and Allen are also charged with armed criminal action, burglary and robbery.

The judge said he had seen no evidence the two teens could be rehabilitated if tried as juveniles or that there was a juvenile facility that could hold them.

Investigators say Zarro and Allen escaped from Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch in the Ozark Mountains on Jan. 29. The ranch describes itself as a Christian residential treatment facility for at-risk boys.

Two days later, ranch employees told police someone had broken into the office, apparently looking for keys to vehicles. Around the same time, a man living on nearby Trace Hollow Road told police he had spotted two teenagers taking property from the cabin where Paul and Margaret Brooks were spending their vacation and loading it into the couple's Saturn, the newspaper said.

The man held the teens at gunpoint. Inside the cabin, police found the Brooks' bodies.

Zarro admitted killing the couple, police said in a charging document: "Anthony stated to deputies that two other people were inside, and stated 'I killed them, I beat them with a baseball bat and stabbed them.'"

Allen and Zarro are scheduled to make their first adult court appearance on Friday.

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