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A pizza receipt discovered at the scene of a murder in Milwaukee led police to a 12-year-old boy who has since been accused of killing his neighbour in a plot to steal his guns, court records claim.
According to a criminal complaint from the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, the unnamed minor has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide. He will be tried as an adult, and if convicted, will serve a life sentence in prison.
The complaint alleged the 12-year-old boy killed his neighbour, 34-year-old Brandon Felton, in his home on March 15. The boy and Felton were acquainted and played video games together.
Felton’s body was discovered by a friend two days after the killing, police claim. He had been shot once in the head and was lying in a pool of blood.
When they investigated the scene, police found a Domino’s receipt nearby and an empty shell casing on an end table. The order was placed under the name “Brandy” and included a phone number authorities traced to a cellphone belonging to the 12-year-old boy.
When police confronted the boy, he gave several inconsistent statements and claimed he learned of Felton’s death from his grandmother. He denied visiting Felton’s home on March 15 and said he did not place the Domino’s order.
Eventually, the boy told police he was at Felton’s residence when he was killed. He blamed the murder on a friend of Felton’s who he said also stole the deceased’s AR-15 assault rifle and shotgun.
On March 20, the boy told his mother he’d lied to police. The mother then reported her son to authorities and said he and some friends attempted to buy the guns from Felton. She said Felton refused to sell the weapons to the 12-year-old.
The criminal complaint also included several text messages allegedly sent from the minor’s phone, many of which pointed to the boy organizing a “play,” a common slang term for a robbery. The boy wrote he could obtain a “chop” in the robbery, slang for an AR-15-style rifle.
Text messages allegedly sent by the boy on the day of Felton’s killing questioned whether or not he should kill the victim. The person receiving the texts, who is also unnamed, told the boy to wait until they arrived to kill Felton, according to police.
“I’m belting him don’t got time for dude going after my family,” reads the alleged text response from the boy.
It is not yet clear if there have been other charges in the case.
The boy’s lawyer, Katie Holtz, has not provided public comment about the allegations. She clarified to NBC News the weight of the charges against her client.
“In Wisconsin, any child charged with a homicide of this classification, if the child is over the age of 10, starts out being charged as an adult and then can ask the court to transfer their case back to juvenile court jurisdiction,” she wrote.
On Monday, the 12-year-old boy’s bond was set at US$100,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 4.