Police: Boy's limit was 1,000 spanks

PHOENIX - Prosecutors have offered a plea deal to an 8-year-old boy charged with murder in the shooting deaths of his father and another man in their home in St. Johns, Ariz., court records show.

Complete details of the offer were not spelled out in a court filing posted yesterday on the Apache County Superior Court's Web site.

But Apache County Attorney Criss Candelaria wrote that he has "tendered a plea offer to the juvenile's attorneys that would resolve all the charges in the juvenile court contingent on the results of the mental health evaluations."

Candelaria was responding to a defense motion seeking to block him from dropping one of two first-degree murder charges the boy is facing for the shooting deaths of his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, earlier this month.

Defense attorney Benjamin Brewer argued in a Nov. 25 filing that prosecutors wanted the charge dismissed so they could refile it when the boy was older and press the case in adult court.

Police found Romero and Romans shot to death after the boy ran to a neighbor's house on Nov. 5. In a videotape released by prosecutors, he admits pulling the trigger. Romans worked with Romero and rented a room in his home.

Police reports say the boy told a state Child Protective Services worker that his 1,000th spanking would be his last.