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Terry Smith case: 16-year-old half brother charged with murder

July 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The 16-year-old half brother of Terry Smith has been charged with the boy's murder.

The Riverside County District Attorney's Office charged Smith's half brother with murder on Friday.

The 16-year-old is due in juvenile court Monday for a detention hearing. At that time, it will be determined if he should be charged as an adult. So far, the name of the teen suspect is being withheld because he has not been charged as an adult.

Smith, 11, was reported missing Sunday. Hundreds of volunteers searched for him for four days. Smith's remains were found Wednesday in a shallow grave near his mother's house.

Meantime, family members could be seen Friday cutting down brush so people can add to the memorial for Smith.

While Shawna Smith, the mother of both the suspect and the victim, still isn't ready to talk, the boy's aunt is speaking out.

"This has been a double tragedy for our family, while we are in the process of putting Juju to rest, we are also trying to have an understanding of what has occurred," said Tracy Armato.

Almost everybody who stops by the memorial has an opinion.

"It's just horrible, it's horrible that a young child could do that to another child, his own flesh and blood, I mean, it's sickening," said Jamee Ogle, a friend of the victim.

On the other side of the country, Smith's father, Terry Smith Sr., continues to shed light on what he says was a very troubled household.

"Shawna knew (the half brother's) disposition, she knew that he did get violent with his brothers and sisters, and I begged her to get him the right kind of help, in fact I begged her to get the right kind of help for herself, but it just never happened," he said.

But the family shot back.

"I don't know that it makes any sense to be negative towards anybody right now," Armato said. "Truth is going to come out, and everybody will get to make their own decisions about his forthcoming and whether it is true or not."

When asked how she feels about the charges against the teen, Armato said patience is key to the situation.

"I think we all just need to have patience and know that the right thing is going to happen," she said.


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