Texas Boy, 10, Admits to Fatally Shooting a Sleeping Man When He Was 7 — but Now He Won't Face Charges

The Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office said the boy confessed to using his grandfather’s gun to commit the murder

<p>Gonzales County Sheriff

Gonzales County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Gonzales County Sheriff's Office vehicle

A 10-year-old Texas boy has admitted to fatally shooting a sleeping man when he was 7 years old, but he will not face charges for the murder, authorities said.

On Thursday, April 18, the Gonzales County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) announced that the child — whose name was not shared — confessed to killing a man at an RV park with his grandfather's gun while visiting his grandparent in early 2022.

The child's confession was consistent with the killing of 32-year-old Brandon O’Quinn Rasberry, who was fatally shot in the head at Lazy J RV Park in Nixon, Texas, in January 2022, four days after he moved there. "The medical examiner concluded cause of death was a gunshot wound of the head and manner of death was Homicide," the sheriff's office reported.

The GCSO added that "all possible witnesses" in Rasberry's death were "spoken to and interviewed by investigators during the investigation" before "all leads were exhausted."

The case took a turn on April 12, when the Nixon Smiley Independent School District informed the sheriff's office that a student threatened to kill another student on the bus a day before. School officials later told a deputy that the boy claimed he fatally shot a man two years earlier.

"Investigators determined based on the information the child told the school, the child may have knowledge about the murder of Brandon," the GCSO said.

"The child was transported to a child advocacy center where a forensic interview was conducted. During the interview the ten-year-old child described in detail that two years ago he shot and killed a man in a trailer in Nixon, Texas," the group added.

Related: Boy, 10, Accused of Fatally Shooting Mom Because He Was Angry She Wouldn't Buy Him Virtual Reality Headset

<p>Brandon Rasberry/Facebook</p> Brandon Rasberry

Brandon Rasberry/Facebook

Brandon Rasberry

The child then spoke to authorities, providing information that was "consistent with first-hand knowledge" of Rasberry's killing.

As the boy explained to them, he was visiting his grandfather at an RV park on Jan. 16, 2022, when he grabbed a pistol out of the glove box of his grandfather's vehicle.

The boy then claimed he entered the victim's RV, approached the sleeping man and shot him once in the head, per the GCSO. He then said he shot the RV's couch and left, before returning the gun to the vehicle.

"When asked, the child stated he had never met Brandon, and did not know who he was although he had observed him walking around the RV earlier in the day," the sheriff's office said. "The child was also asked if he was mad at Brandon for some reason or if Brandon had ever done anything to him to make him mad, the child stated no."

Investigators later secured the gun from a pawn shop in Seguin, Texas, on April 12, before discovering that it was "used to commit the murder" after the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms San Antonio Field Office observed two spent shell casings from the crime scene, per GCSO.

Following his confession, the boy was placed on a 72-hour emergency detention, evaluated at a psychiatric hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and then brought to the Gonzales County Sheriff's Office. He was booked on charges "relating to the school bus incident for Terroristic Threat (Texas Penal Code 22.07)" and placed in detention by Gonzales County Juvenile Probation as he awaits a court date, authorities said.

According to the office, "Texas Penal Code 8.07 states that a child does not have criminal culpability until they reach the age of ten years old."

Given that the boy was about to turn 8 at the time of the 2022 killing, "charges for murder will not be filed and cannot be accepted by the Gonzales County Attorney's Office for consideration of prosecution in accordance with state law," police said.

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Kenneth Rasberry, the victim's father, told local ABC affiliate KSAT that he was "very shocked" by the latest development and that the child "isn’t anywhere the suspect that we thought it was."

“This is a little boy, for reasons that I’m sure these counselors and case managers and all of that, that’s going to pick that poor little boy’s brain apart,” Kenneth told the outlet.

“He needs to be prayed on. He needs to be comforted ... He’s forgiven. And he can still be saved. He’s so young. He’s definitely tormented by something," he added.

KSAT also published a letter to parents from Nixon-Smiley Superintendent Jeff Van Auken, who wrote on April 18 that the child will not be returning to the elementary school. Auken said the "safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance."

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