The state's largest newspaper took the blinders off today and published the name of the man killed in St. Johns by his own 8-year-old son -- as well as the name of the boy, now 9.
UPI named the kid and father two days after the double murder in which 39-year-old Timothy Romans was also shot dead. Hundreds of online news sites soon named the father, if not all the names of people connected with the shocking crime. But as we noted in a November post, the Arizona Republic withheld the names from its readers even after the boy's mother went on national TV news.
In an article about the case today, however, veteran reporter Dennis Wagner writes:
Because of the boy's age, The Arizona Republic had not named him or his father in news stories. Now that he has pleaded guilty, the newspaper is publishing the names.
That's an interesting ethical code they've got there. It's as if the Republic is agreeing with the opinion -- held by the judge and the boy's lawyer -- that the 9-year-old is responsible enough to make a decision like that.
The mother, according to Wagner's story, objected to the plea and believes the boy doesn't really understand the pleadings.