If you live in the Boise – Nampa – Caldwell, Idaho area you cannot have escaped the most recent news story on another apparent homicide by a fourteen year old Caldwell Middle School student. That’s right friends – 14. As in "how many kids can you stuff in a VW Bug?" Fourteen – if they are little Middle School kids. As in two years older than 12. And when the reports first surfaced in the local press, it was just another "bad kid gone horribly wrong" tale, this killing compared to other murder by adolescent kid accounts that have played out all over the land over in recent years. You know the type – sad, dark killer takes life of sainted parent. Those stories are truly tragic – but this is not that story. This is the other type of tragic –
Zachary Neagle is charged with killing his dad – who "allegedly" had sexually molested Zachary and his sister.
Check out today’s coverage of the case, including this story describing the circumstances this kid was living through – sexual abuse by dad. Here’s the kicker:
"A close relative of the victim told investigators he suspected Jason Neagle sexually abused Zachary and that he had seen Neagle hit his son, (Investigator) Crawford said."
What kind of relative stands by and lets an adult sexually and physically abuse his kids? What kind of father molests his kids with apparent impunity?
While we are at it – what kind of prosecutor charges first degree murder for this kind of thing? John Bujak has "taken the death penalty off the table." Wonderful – at least this 5 foot 4 inch kid will not have to face the most extreme punishment available under the law. Bujak should do more – he should drop the charges based on the work of his investigators who appear to have the explanation – the kid was trying to protect himself and his sister. This kid needs help not a life sentence.
There is much interest in this case as the 85 comments to the story illustrate. Many (if not most) support the kid’s actions to protect himself and his sister from the abuse. Zachary Neagle is the real victim. He needed the community’s help before and he needs it now.
There are cases lawyers just need to take – causes so just they beg for an advocate. This seems like that type of case.