TUCUMCARI, New Mexico — A 15-year-old boy charged with killing his adoptive mom and sister in 2012 near Tucumcari is expected to plead guilty to murder charges, his lawyer announced Thursday
Public defender Jeff Buckels told the Albuquerque Journal (http://goo.gl/rdUcla) that the boy will guilty plea at his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Aug. 14.
District Judge Albert Mitchell ruled last week the maximum sentence the teen can receive is detention and treatment in a state Children, Youth and Families Department facility until age 21. The ruling said the 15-year-old is amenable to treatment, "which is what we were seeking from the beginning, so you better believe we're pleased," Buckels said.
Had Mitchell ruled the boy was not amenable to treatment, he would be facing adult sanctions of up to two consecutive life sentences.
Buckels presented evidence at the hearing showing his client was "abused and neglected as a child, that his biological parents had their parental rights terminated by the time he was 7."
The teen stabbed his sister, Sherry Folts, 48, and shot his mother, Sue Day, 67, in their home on the outskirts of Tucumcari, authorities said.
An adopted brother, then 15, wrested the rifle away from the teen.
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.
The Associated Press is not identifying the teen because he is a juvenile.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com