7-Year-Old Alabama Boy Will Not Face Murder Charges

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A 7-year-old Alabama boy who fatally shot a 5-year-old neighbor by firing an air gun at point-blank range will not face any charges against him, authorities said.

Last Thursday, Sacorya Johnson was shot just above the left eye after she came home from school, according to Monroeville, AL, police Captain CH Steen. Police were not sure if the pump air rifle was loaded with pellets or BB shot, but a projectile entered the girl's skull.

Wire service reports say that Johnson was taken to Monroe County Hospital, then flown by helicopter to the University of South Alabama Women's and Children's Hospital in Mobile, where she died on Saturday.

Investigators said the gun had been hidden from the boy after he was seen playing with it. He found it on Thursday, authorities said.

Representatives of the county's Child Death Review Board will hear evidence about the case, and investigators were trying to determine who, if anyone, could be held responsible, District Attorney Tommy Chapman said.

However, because the courts have ruled that a 7-year-old minor is too young to form intent to murder, charges against the boy, who remains unidentified because of his age, are very unlikely, Chapman said on Tuesday.

"Accidents happen," Chapman said. "They have been (happening) for years, and they are not going to stop accidental shootings with any legislation."

Neighborhood parents said they were watching children more closely than before.

"She was a happy little girl," said Effie Graham, who lives across the street from where the girl was shot. "She was so young - that's what makes it so sad."