A 15-year-old boy has been charged with second degree murder after authorities say he shot and killed the man who was attacking his mother, local news reports.
Detectives working the case are calling it a tragedy for all involved.
The teenager, Bailey Doggett, has been charged with second degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He’s scheduled to go to trial in March, according to Spotsylvania (VA.) Circuit Court Records.
His mother and her boyfriend, John Conroy Jr., started arguing when she asked Conroy Jr. to move out, according to court testimony. When Conroy Jr. hit his mother, Doggett found his mother’s semi-automatic gun and shot Conroy Jr., according to authorities.
During a preliminary hearing, an investigator for the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s office said Conroy was shot five times — three times in the chest and twice in the back.
Even though the teen said he was afraid of Conroy Jr. — who apparently had a mental illness and was off his medication — a judge ruled that the judge ruled that since the victim was unarmed, Doggett did not have the right to use deadly force. Doggett was being held at a juvenile detention center but he’s now going to be tried as an adult.
There were no records of previous domestic abuse, and the teen, his mother and Conroy lived together for several years before the incident.
An attorney explained that all homicides in Virginia are “presumed to be murder in the second degree,” but the charge can be increased, reduced or dropped, pending further investigation.