8-year-old accused of killing 90-year-old will return home

CLINTON, LA (WAFB) - The 8-year-old boy who detectives say shot and killed his 90-year-old caretaker was in court Tuesday.

Louisiana law does not allow him to be charged with the crime because he is under the age of 10, but the judge had options. The judge had to decide if the boy would return to his home or be moved into a group home.

The judge decided to allow the child to return home.

The shooting happened in the town of Slaughter just two weeks ago. According to investigators, the little boy shot Marie Smothers in the back of the head while she watched television and they do not believe it was an accident.

Prosecutors cannot charge the child as a juvenile nor an adult because he's under 10 years old, so they will take action under the state's Family in Need of Services law, or FINS. He stayed home and attended school in the time since the shooting, all while undergoing a thorough psychological evaluation.

The judge reviewed the evaluation to determine whether the child would continue to live with his parents or if there are mental issue that need continued treatment in a group home. Law experts said taking a child that young out of his parent's home is a last resort.

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