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Prosecutor seeks to drop charge against young murder suspect

  • Story Highlights
  • Motion seeks to dismiss charge accusing 8-year-old of killing father
  • Motion says state believes "interest of justice" will be served by dismissal
  • Boy faces another murder charge for killing man who lived in father's home
  • Prosecutors say boy admitted to killing men in videotaped interview
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(CNN) -- An Arizona prosecutor Friday asked to dismiss one of two murder charges against an 8-year-old boy suspected in the shooting deaths of his father and another man.

Apache County Attorney Criss Candelaria filed a one-paragraph motion in juvenile court to drop the murder charge accusing the boy of killing his father.

The motion gave no reason for the request, saying only that "the state believes the interest of justice will be served by such a dismissal."

Phone calls to Candelaria were not returned Friday, and the judge in the case has issued a gag order.

The motion broadened the mystery surrounding the case, which began November 7, when the boy was charged with killing his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Tim Romans, 39, who rented a room in Romero's home.

Police have said the boy confessed to shooting the men with a .22-caliber handgun and released a videotape of the boy's interview with police. Video Watch the boy speak to investigators »

Sitting cross-legged in an armchair, the boy initially denied involvement in the shootings. He said he found Romans lying on the ground when he arrived home from school and ran inside calling for his father.

"And then I went upstairs, and then I saw him, and there was blood all over his face, and I think I touched it," the boy said. "And I didn't hear anything, and I just saw blood, and I cried for about 30 minutes, just crying right next to him."

But later on the tape he said he shot his already wounded father "because he was suffering."

The two officers questioning the boy press him to tell the truth, with one saying at one point, "If you're not honest with me, if you're not truthful, it's not going to look good."

The boy appears to admit to shooting his father, saying, "After I shot him once, he was still moving. I think I shot him again."

The boy has not entered a plea in the case. One of his defense attorneys said he was not read his rights and did not have an attorney or a parent present during questioning.

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Police have not responded to those claims.

If the motion to dismiss is granted, it would leave open the possibility that the charge could be refiled.

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