UNITED STATES NEWS

Boys, 13, charged with killing great-grandmother

Sep 21, 2012, 9:59 PM

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Two 13-year-old Wisconsin boys were ordered held on $1 million bond Friday after being accused of using a hatchet and hammer to kill one boy’s great-grandmother while stealing jewelry and a car from her home.

Prosecutors allege that the boys, both charged as adults, went to 78-year-old Barbara J. Olson’s home on Monday with the intent to rob and kill her. Authorities said her body was discovered in the garage, in a pool of blood, two days later by her daughter.

The boys appeared in Sheboygan County court Friday, where they’re charged with being party to the crime of first-degree intentional homicide.

According to a criminal complaint, the teens told investigators that after they fatally beat Olson in her home in Sheboygan Falls, about 50 miles north of Milwaukee, they grabbed jewelry and loose change before stealing her car and driving to get pizza.

George Limbeck, the great-grandson’s attorney, said the boy had a “good relationship” with Olson. “That relationship will come into play in future court proceedings,” he said, declining to elaborate but adding that the entire family is distraught.

Limbeck said he will try to have the case heard in juvenile court. A conviction in adult court carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, but if the boys were convicted as juveniles, they could only be incarcerated until they turned 25.

Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco said he would oppose moving the case to juvenile court, arguing that the severity of the boys’ actions demands that they be prosecuted as adults.

“Look at their actions as alleged in their own statements. They planned this whole thing,” DeCecco said. “If they just wanted to rob her, why didn’t they wait until she wasn’t home, instead of killing her first?”

A message left with the other boy’s public defender was not immediately returned.

The idea to rob and kill Olson came from her great-grandson, the other boy told authorities. He said the great-grandson armed himself with a hatchet and the friend got a hammer, and both boys concealed the weapons under their clothes as the friend’s mother drove them to Olson’s home, according to the criminal complaint.

The boys entered Olson’s garage through an unlocked side door. When they encountered Olson, she told her great-grandson she was going to call his mother. As she turned away, her great-grandson allegedly hit her in the head with the blunt end of the hatchet, according to the complaint.

She crumpled to the ground, and he continued to bludgeon her as she tried to cover her head and pleaded for them to stop, the complaint said. The friend said he added two blows with the hammer.

The great-grandson then swung the hatchet blade-first, and it lodged so deeply into Olson’s skull that it took the strength of both boys to pry it loose, the friend told investigators. The boys then tried to carry her body to her car but gave up, leaving her in the garage, the complaint said.

Prosecutors allege the boys then rifled through Olson’s home, taking a purse, jewelry and money. They stole her car, ditched it in the parking lot of a bowling alley and walked to a pizza parlor, the complaint said.

Police found the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition and a bag of jewelry visible on the back seat. The friend told detectives the boys hoped someone would steal the car and get blamed for the woman’s death.

The boys bought cleaning wipes and came back to wipe down the car, prosecutors said. The hatchet and hammer were found in the trunk.

Police found a piece of schoolwork in the car that had the friend’s name on it. They also found Olson’s purse in a storm drain near the friend’s house, in the approximate area where he told them he discarded it.

Officers then executed a search warrant on the great-grandson’s locker at a juvenile detention center where he’d been placed Tuesday for unrelated reasons. Authorities said they seized clothes and apparent blood-spattered shoes.

The great-grandson initially denied knowledge of Olson’s death but eventually laid out a confession for investigators similar to his friend’s, according to the criminal complaint.

___

Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde(at)ap.org.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead speaks with the media, May 24, 2022, in New York. The Brooklyn...

Associated Press

Brooklyn preacher goes on trial for fraud charges prosecutors say fueled lavish lifestyle

NEW YORK (AP) — A Brooklyn preacher with ties to New York City Mayor Eric Adams is set to go on trial Monday in Manhattan federal court over charges that he looted a parishioner’s retirement savings and tried to extort a businessman to fuel his lavish lifestyle. Lamor Miller-Whitehead, 47, a Rolls Royce-driving bishop, faces […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Alexander Smirnov, second from right, leaves the courthouse on Feb. 20, 2024, in Las Vegas. ...

Associated Press

Ex-FBI informant charged with lying about Bidens will appear in court as judge weighs his detention

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former FBI informant charged with fabricating a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden’s family is set to appear in a California federal court on Monday as a judge considers whether he must remain behind bars while he awaits trial. Special counsel David Weiss’ office is pressing U.S. District Judge […]

2 hours ago

Rock Creek Forest Elementary School students exit a diesel bus before attending school, Friday, Feb...

Associated Press

Demand for electric school buses finally starts to make headway

Electric school buses have been driving in California for nearly a decade but the demand for more across the country has been increasing.

5 hours ago

leap day...

Associated Press

How did leap day begin and why? A look by the numbers

How did leap year begin and why? A look at some of the numbers, history and lore behind the (not quite) every four-year phenom.

7 hours ago

Associated Press

AT&T will give $5 to customers hit by cellphone network outage

DALLAS (AP) — AT&T says it will give affected customers $5 each to compensate for last week’s cellphone network outage that left many without service for hours. The Dallas-based company said on its website that customers will get the $5 credit on their account within two billing cycles. The credit does not apply to AT&T […]

8 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 23, 2024, in Washington...

Associated Press

Biden is summoning congressional leaders to the White House to talk Ukraine and government funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will convene the top four congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday to press lawmakers on passing an emergency aid package for Ukraine and Israel, as well as averting a looming government shutdown next month, according to a White House official. The top four leaders include House Speaker […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Boys, 13, charged with killing great-grandmother