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Colorado boy charged with murder in parents' slayings

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The 12-year-old suspect could be charged as an adult
  • Prosecutors and a judge have 30 days to make that decision

(CNN) -- Colorado prosecutors have charged a 12-year-old boy with murder and aggravated assault in the shootings that left his parents dead and two siblings wounded, the district attorney's office said Tuesday.

The boy, whose identity remains under wraps due to his age, faces two counts of murder and three of assault, said Doug Copley, an investigator for the district attorney's office in eastern Colorado's Kit Carson County. Prosecutors and a judge have 30 days to decide whether the boy should be charged as an adult.

Colorado state law allows suspects as young as 12 to be charged as adults, but the provision is rarely used for children under 14. A preliminary hearing in the boy's case is scheduled for June 6, Copley said.

The killings occurred March 1 in Burlington, a town of fewer than 4,000 near the Kansas state line. The suspect's 25-year-old brother, Jacob Long, said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" last week that the shootings were "surreal" and that he saw no warning signs or trouble within the family.

The boy's parents, Charles and Marilyn Long, were found dead in their home, according to Steve Johnson, assistant director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Officers also found two critically wounded children: a 5-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, whom investigators identified as siblings of the boy in custody.

In Session's Carol Gantt contributed to this report.