12-year-old Faces Judge in Mother's Death - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

12-year-old Faces Judge in Mother's Death

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The boy appeared in court Friday for the first time. The boy appeared in court Friday for the first time.
He will remain in a juvenile detention facility in El Reno. He will remain in a juvenile detention facility in El Reno.

By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9

MORRISON, Oklahoma - The 12 year old accused of shooting his mother in Morrison will remain in a juvenile detention facility in El Reno after facing a judge for the first time since his mother's death.

The judge kept the hearing and court documents closed from the public, but the noble county district attorney handling the case said the trial could very likely be the first of its kind in Oklahoma.

"You do these things and cover murder cases," said Noble County District Attorney Mark L. Gibson said. "I thought I was ready for anything and I wasn't."

Gibson continued to understand the idea of a 12-year-old accused of murder, which is something he said the state has never dealt with before.

"I can't find any of my peers who has ever dealt with a 12-year-old who has murdered someone before in the state of Oklahoma," Gibson said.

Authorities claim Shannon Renfro's 12-year-old adopted son killed her. The family of the victim and suspect are trying to understand what happened.

"This is a tragedy that has basically turned our world upside down," said family spokesperson Russell Hughes.

Renfro's family said the boy struggles with mental health problems. Gibson said until he is able to confirm that, he has to handle the case as if the boy understood the consequences.

"Irrespective of his mental health, education level or his home life, I can't reach any other conclusion that this is a societal thing, which is unconscionable to me," Gibson said. "As a general rule, I'm going to start with the fact that a 12 or 13-year-old do know what they're doing in today's world."

Gibson said because of the boy's age under state law, if he is tried as adult he must serve a minimum of 38 years in prison.

The boy's next court appearance is schedule for April 14.

A fund has been set up for the family at the Citizen State Bank in Morrison.

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