Did an 8-year-old murder his father or was he just scared?

An 8-year-old boy has confessed to police that he shot his father and another man at his rural home in Arizona. However, he made the confession after initially denying any involvement in the events. Only after police questioned him — alone, without a guardian or attorney present — did he admit to the killings.

A defense attorney who later became involved in the case says that the police “became very accusing early on in the interview. … Two officers with guns at their side, it’s very scary for anybody, for sure an 8-year-old kid.”

Undoubtedly the circumstances of the police questioning will play a role in the boy’s defense, leading one to question the wisdom of the authorities in situations like this.