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Kids Who Kill Are Getting Obscenely Young – What Can Be Done?

KIds Who Kill

Kids Who Kill Are Getting Obscenely Young – What Can Be Done?

Kids who kill are a tragedy at any age. But a recent Texas case breaks the mold. We’re talking about a 10-year-old boy who admitted to killing a man two years ago, when he was just seven. Since Texas law doesn’t allow people to be charged with a crime until they reach the age of 10, the kid will not be facing any charges for the murder. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any comeuppance in the bad lad’s future.

The Killing

On Jan. 18, 2022, 32-year-old Brandon O’Quinn Rasberry was asleep in his unit at the Lazy J RV Park in Nixon, Texas. which is located approximately one hour east of San Antonio. He was undoubtedly warm and comfortable in his new place; after all, he’d only moved in four days beforehand. But someone would steal the warmth and comfort he managed to create for himself.

When the Gonzalez County Sheriff’s Office arrived they were checking on an unresponsive male. They’d gotten a call from the RV Park manager, who in turn had been contacted by Holmes Foods, where Raspberry worked. Though he’d only been on staff three months, he apparently liked to job. The job liked him too. So when he didn’t report to work for two days they became concerned.

GCSO found Raspberry with one gunshot to the head. He was dead.

Kids Who Kill For No Reason

That brings us to now. According to a press release from the Gonzalez County Sheriff’s Office. on Friday April 12th 2024 the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a Nixon Smiley Independent School District Principle who reported a ten year old male student had threatened to assault and kill another student on a bus on Thursday evening April 11th 2024. The school district conducted a threat assessment on the student and as a result of the assessment they contacted the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office. A Deputy was dispatched to the school to take a report and complete an investigation. When the Deputy arrived he spoke with school officials who informed the Deputy the child made a statement that he shot and killed a man two years ago.

Based on this information the Deputy contacted the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division. The child was transported to a child advocacy center where a forensic interview was conducted. During the interview the ten year old child described in detail that two years ago he shot and killed a man in a trailer in Nixon, Texas.

The ten year old child provided information that was consistent with first-hand knowledge of the homicide of Brandon Rasberry. The child stated he was visiting his grandfather at his house on the afternoon of Sunday January 16th 2022, the child’s grandfather and Brandon lived in the same RV Park a few lots apart. The ten year old stated he obtained a pistol from the glove box of his grandfather’s truck.
The child informed investigators he then entered the RV belonging to Brandon. The Child stated he observed Rasberry sleeping in his bed and discharged the firearm into Brandon striking him one time in the head. The child stated as he was leaving the RV he discharged the firearm another time into the couch inside the RV. The child then exited the RV and returned the firearm to the glovebox of the truck.

Does it get any colder and more matter of fact than that? Granted, the GCSO didn’t provide any sense of mood or emotion, but its absence makes the entire episode all the more tragic.

It Gets Worse

When asked, the child stated he had never met Brandon, and did not know who he was (although he had observed him walking around the RV Park earlier in the day). The child was also asked if he was mad at Brandon for some reason or if Brandon had ever done anything to him to make him mad, and the child stated no.

Because of the severity of the crime and because of the continued concern for the child’s mental wellbeing the child was placed on a 72 hour emergency detention. The child was transported to a psychiatric hospital in San Antonio, Texas for evaluation and treatment. Upon release from the hospital the child was transported from San Antonio to the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office. Once at the Sheriff’s Office the child was booked in on charges relating to the school bus incident for Terroristic Threat (Texas Penal Code 22.07) and the child was placed in detention by Gonzales County Juvenile Probation to await his court date at a later time.

Because of the child’s age, Texas Penal Code 8.07 states that a child does not have criminal culpability until they reach the age of ten years old. At the time of the murder the juvenile suspect was seven years old, one week shy of his 8th birthday. Therefore charges for murder will not be filed and cannot be accepted by the Gonzales County Attorney’s Office for consideration of prosecution in accordance with state law.

We understand that there needs to be some parameters with regards to a child’s age and crime, but there should also be some exceptions when the severity of the crime is so severe, And what about Grandpa? If anything, he should be charged as an accessory to the murder.


According to KSAT team Julie Moreno, David Ibañez and Myra Arthur, Brandon Rasberry’s father Kenneth has forgiven the kid who killed his son.

“This is a little boy, for reasons that I’m sure these counselors and case managers and all of that, that’s going to pick that poor little boy’s brain apart,” he said about the child.

Despite dealing with the agony of losing his son in such a horrible way, Kenneth Rasberry said he feels for the boy and hopes he can be saved.

“He needs to be prayed on. He needs to be comforted, Rasberry added. “ He’s forgiven. And he can still be saved. He’s so young. He’s definitely tormented by something.”

Again, according to the sheriff’s office, the child was placed on 72-hour emergency detention “because of the severity of the crime and because of the continued concern for the child’s mental wellbeing.”

He was transported to a psychiatric hospital in San Antonio for evaluation and treatment and then was taken to GCSO, where he was booked on terrorist threat charges relating to the school bus incident.

Texas Penal Code 8.07 states that a child does not have criminal culpability until they reach the age of 10 years old, so he will not be charged with murder in Rasberry’s death.

One positive outcome, in a letter to parents, Nixon-Smiley Superintendent Jeff Van Auken said that the child in question will not be returning to the elementary school he was attending.

What to Do About Kids Who Kill

Healing Properties doesn’t usually cover violent crime bereft of drugs and/or alcohol, but we bet a cool c-note there are some of each in the vicinity of this murder. Maybe it’s the grandpa, who was too drunk or high to keep his gun out of reach of his grandson, then too broke to keep it at all. Maybe it’s the kid himself, who’s propensity for firearms surely makes him conversant in drugs. And what about prescribed drugs? Did the kid just go off his meds? Nobody mentioned that.

Whatever the case, there’s gotta be some drugs circulating around this story somewhere; the authorities simply have to figure out what is what. Oh, we don’t envy them the task. Sussing out what’s what isn’t always easy, especially where drugs are concerned. But whether it’s Nixon-Smiley Superintendent Jeff Van Auken, Gonzalez County Sheriff Keith Schmidt, the Gonzales County Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Child Protective Services or Gonzales County Juvenile Probation, they’ve got the chops to get it done and to get it done right. We wish them all the Godspeed in the world.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Should Texas stick to their 10-year-old cut-off regardless of the crime? And what about accessories? Should folks like grandpa be prosecuted? After all, without access to a weapon the kid might’ve done something more palatable like tear off the wings of flies or something.

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