New Zealand boy kills 11-year-old friend

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WELLINGTON - A 12-year-old boy in New Zealand shot dead his 11-year-old friend after an argument, a media report said Tuesday.

The boy was 12 when he shot dead his friend last year, New Zealand Herald reported.

The defendant, now 13, from East Coast, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the Gisborne High Court Tuesday.

The shooting occurred at a farm in July last year.

The defendant, the victim and another youth were in a cottage. The firearm was under the table when the youths began discussing whether to go hunting again, leading to an argument.

The victim shouted an obscenity at the defendant, who in turn said: “I’ll shoot you.”

The victim laughed and told the defendant to get the gun out of the way. The victim turned and the firearm went off.

The boy was originally charged with murder, but Justice Forrest Miller said a police probe could not exclude the possibility that the firearm was discharged accidentally.

Miller said the boy was still a child and could only be convicted of a crime if he was capable of telling the difference between right and wrong.

Evidence from a doctor and four teachers was that he was capable of making that distinction.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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