New Mexico teen admits killing mom, sister

August 15, 2014 • State News

TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy charged with killing his mo[auth] ther and sister in 2012 pleaded guilty Thursday and avoided facing adult sanctions of up to two consecutive life sentences.

After the boy entered his plea, District Judge Albert Mitchell sentenced him to detention and treatment in a state Children, Youth and Families Department facility until age 21. That’s the maximum the boy could receive after a judge ruled last month he was amenable to treatment.

The teen shot his adoptive mother, Sue Day, 67, and stabbed his sister, Sherry Folts, 48, in their home on the outskirts of Tucumcari, authorities said.

An adopted brother, then 15, wrested the rifle from the teen.

The Associated Press is not identifying the teen because he is a juvenile. His lawyer, Jeff Buckels, presented evidence at the hearing last month that showed his client was abused and neglected as a child and that his biological parents had their parental rights terminated by the time he turned 7.

A psychologist testifying at the hearing also said the teen had a faulty grasp on reality and an inability to accurately interpret events and people’s motives.

According to investigators, the teen later told police at the time that he also intended to kill his adoptive father, Mike Day, who had been in the home at the time of the killings, as was a 9-month-old foster baby.

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