An 11-year-old boy has been convicted of murdering an 8-year-old girl after she and her sister refused to let him see their puppies.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Benny Tiller of White Pine, Tennessee, reportedly shot his 8-year-old neighbor, MaKayla Dyer, on October 4, 2015, over the puppies.
According to the boy’s grandmother, the 11-year-old boy has now been found guilty of the charge.
CBS affiliate WVLT reports that Jefferson County Juvenile Court judge Dennis “Will” Roach II sentenced the boy to state custody until he turns 19.
— 10TV.com (@10TV) February 6, 2016
Roach said in his order that the state should use all reasonable resources to determine why Benny shot the girl. He also ordered that the 11-year-old boy be treated and rehabilitated so a tragedy like this never happens again.
“A child who commits first-degree murder cannot be willy-nilly turned loose into society.”
Rob Johnson, a spokesman for the Department of Children’s Services, said the boy is being evaluated to determine where he should be placed until he turns 19.
“Like any other child who comes into custody, he would need a thorough assessment and evaluation to determine the best placement. At this time, it would likely be at an intensive treatment program at one of our private providers.”
As previously reported, Benny and his 8-year-old neighbor, MaKayla, lived in the same mobile home park in White Pine, Tennessee, about 40 miles outside of Knoxville.
MaKayla Dyer’s puppy waiting for her to come home. But she won’t because she was shot dead by an 11 year old boy. pic.twitter.com/omQuAGtZHg
— Good Sir Knight (@BrigadierSlog) October 8, 2015
On October 4, 2015, MaKayla, her 11-year-old sister, and another 11-year-old girl, Hannah, were playing outside. While talking to Tiller outside his bedroom window, the boy asked the girls to go get their puppies. When they refused, he reportedly went and retrieved a 12-gauge shotgun and a BB gun from his father’s closet. When he returned to the window, he told the girls he had guns and demanded they get the puppies.
According to the judge’s description of the events, McKayla laughed at him, saying she didn’t believe the guns were real.
The judge then described the moment when MaKayla was shot.
“(He) then made certain the gun was loaded, cocked the hammer on the gun and shot the victim just above the heart at a downward trajectory.”
The girl fell and lost consciousness.
Sheriff Bud McCoig said in October that police were called to the trailer park in White Pine, at about 7:30 p.m. Responding officers found Makayla on the ground with gunshot wounds in her chest.
Makayla was rushed to Morristown-Hamblen Hospital, where doctors later pronounced her dead.
Neighbor Misty Edwards said her niece, Hannah, was playing with Makayla when the incident happened.
“It breaks my heart because [she’s] my niece and daughter’s best friend.”
Another neighbor, Chastity Arwood, said she was watching a football game when she heard a loud bang and then screaming that someone had been shot.
Following the incident, Bill Walker, the principal of White Pine Elementary School, where the children went to school, held a news conference on Monday morning.
“White Pine community has experienced a tragedy, with a shooting death of a student. The staff of White Pine School and Jefferson County Schools are saddened by this incident, but want to assure parents and community that counselors are on site to assist students and staff. Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved from both families.”
According to the Knoxville News Sentinal, Johnson said the 11-year-old boy’s five siblings are now in state custody, as well. The three boys and two girls have been placed with relatives, he said.
[Image via Twitter/Talking Points Memo]