September 6th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

14-Yr-Old Youngest Person To Be Charged With First-Degree Murder

In 2009, a ten-year-old boy in New Mexico killed his father.

Now that boy, Benjamin Hilburn, is the youngest person in the state to be charged with first-degree murder, as prosecutors say he knew what he was doing and that this was premeditated.

CNN's Chris Cuomo reports.

District Attorney Lemuel L. Martinez says, "The thing about charging people, is they are charged with what the facts allow.  And in this case, we believe that there was premeditation involved. Pre-meditation can be anywhere from a nanosecond, to a second, to an hour."

Hilburn's attorney, Donna Trujillo-Dodd, says he was suffering from an abusive father, and thought he was protecting his younger brother and sister.

"He was in over his head...he basically snapped and could not take it anymore and had to protect himself.  And as a result, shot his father."

For the last four years, the teen has been awaiting his trial in juvenile court, but still living with his mother and siblings.

His sister Emily was just six-years-old when their father was killed, but she seems to remember the horrifying details.

She says, "All I saw was Ben running into the room and my dad falling to the floor with his brains spilling out."

If convicted, Benjamin will be incarcerated until he's 21.  After that, he says he wants to be a librarian.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Loche Wood

    George Stinney was murdered by the US criminal legal system. He was convicted of first degree murder and executed. The trial unclding jury selection lasted only one day. The boy was 14. CNN DO YOUR RESEARCH!

    September 13, 2013 at 5:58 am | Reply
  2. berName*

    Ya, finally someone is doing something about these blatant little kids who disregsrd everything and think they get away with anything. I just wish he was kept for life and mot only till he turned 21, that is unfair amd unjust. Why not give term sentences to murderers ages 21 and up too?

    September 11, 2013 at 6:22 am | Reply
  3. Madelene Hunter

    Please give my regard to the 14 year old & his mother who I saw on New Day this a.m. – my heart broke for the boy.

    September 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  4. Madelene Hunter

    Dr. Bruce Perry needs to be called into this case as an expert child abuse researcher for the defense – He would share that children who have been subject to abuse or trauma or neglect have brain chemistry changes which make these children hypervigilant & they get stuck in a fight or flight mode which makes them always scanning the environment for signs of impending threat – The 14 year old was (according to his mother) a victim of father's abuse and this set the stage for the violent behavior which occurred when this little boy shot his father – Dr.Perry is renown across the United States as an expert on the effects of child abuse trauma & the brain chemistry changes which occur as a result. This 14 yr old fits his profile of his research – I personally heard Dr. Perry address members of the California Legislature @ the invitation of California's Attorney General in 2001 – because the Attorney General wanted to know 'why children kill' Dr. Bruce Perry has the answers

    September 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Reply

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