Teen facing first-degree murder charge in shooting death of 9-year-old
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A 14-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting a 9-year-old boy will be prosecuted as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder, a decision that could result in a life sentence if he is convicted.
Eric Alan Stoneman is believed to be the youngest person charged with murder in the 9th Judicial District, District Attorney Colleen Truden said.
Stoneman faces multiple charges in the July 20 slaying of Taylor DeMarco, who was shot once in the chest at a home in Battlement Mesa.
“The aggravated circumstances and deliberate intent speak for themselves,” Truden said after a court hearing Wednesday. Truden said she would not seek the death penalty, but the first-degree murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence.
Stoneman would have faced a maximum seven years in prison if charged and convicted as a juvenile.
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Taylor’s mother, Wendi Robyn, told The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction that she felt it was the right decision to charge Stoneman as an adult.
“It doesn’t help with our loss,” said Robyn, who now lives in Fruita. “To me, this is totally separate from Taylor’s death, and I don’t give a whole lot of thought about the case. I’m still in mourning and in grief.”
A 13-year-old witness told investigators that he, Stoneman and Taylor were playing when an argument broke out and Stoneman left and returned with a .22-caliber automatic pistol. The witness originally told investigators that Stoneman forced Taylor to beg for his life, but he later changed his story.
Stoneman told police it was an accident.
An affidavit for a search warrant said the shooting occurred in the living room of the 13-year-old boy’s home, and Taylor then ran outside to the front gate, tried to open the gate, then ran back toward the residence before collapsing and dying on the top porch step.
Stoneman also faces felony charges of manslaughter, first-degree assault, and menacing with a deadly weapon, plus misdemeanor charges of possession of a handgun by a juvenile, prohibited use of a weapon and discharge of that weapon, and resisting arrest.
The hearing Wednesday was held under tight security after Taylor’s father, Bill DeMarco, had to be held back from Stoneman during another hearing in July.
Stoneman was being held without bond at a juvenile detention center.
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