Investigators believe 8-year-old intentionally killed 90-year-old woman

Published: Aug. 23, 2013 at 7:33 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2013 at 3:30 PM CDT
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SLAUGHTER, LA (WAFB) - East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office officials say they believe an 8-year-old intentionally pulled the trigger and killed an elderly woman Thursday evening right after playing 'Grand Theft Auto IV'. Although they believe it was an intentional crime, according to Louisiana law, the child will not be charged.

In what is now being called a homicide, the Sheriff's Office says it happened at the Country Breeze mobile home park on LA 67 near Slaughter, LA just after 5 p.m.

Investigators said they found a woman with a gunshot wound to the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene. According to family members of the victim, her name was Marie Smothers. Smothers was 90 years old.

In a release from the Sheriff's Office, it says although the child initially told investigators that he accidentally shot Smothers while playing with a firearm, the investigation has led them to believe the child intentionally shot her. Smothers was shot in the back of the head while she was in the living room watching television.

The release also states: "By accounts of relatives of the victim, as well as friends of the family, the victim and the juvenile had a normal, loving, relationship." "Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station III "Grand Theft Auto IV", a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging ... just minutes before the homicide occurred."

A man who referred to himself as the boy's father tells WAFB the gun, a .38 caliber handgun, belonged to Smothers. It is still unclear on how the boy got the handgun.

Relatives report the kid had a loving relationship with the woman. She was his caregiver and called her grandmother. Reports from detectives say the two shared a bedroom.

An autopsy was performed Friday afternoon, but results have not been released at this time.

The 8-year-old suspect was released to his parents Thursday night. His name has not been released because of his age.

Authorities say that Louisiana law prohibits them from charging the child with a crime because of his age.

The law states: "Those who have not reached the age of 10 years are exempt from criminal responsibility. However, nothing in this article shall affect the jurisdiction of juvenile courts as established by the constitution and statutes of this state."

The investigation is ongoing.

Slaughter, LA is 21 miles north of Baton Rouge.

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