Family of 10-year-old boy accused of shooting his mom for refusing to buy him a VR headset speak out
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The family of the 10-year-old boy accused of shooting his mom dead for ‘refusing to buy him a VR headset’ have spoken out.
Quiana Mann, 44, was shot in the face inside her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at around 7:00am on 21 November after she refused to buy her son a $500 (£414.86) Oculus VR headset.
He then allegedly used her credit card to purchase the device online.
Mann’s unnamed son initially told police that the shooting was an accident, but he is now being charged with first-degree reckless homicide as an adult as more evidence emerged.
The boy’s aunt, Rhonda Reid, spoke to news network WTMJ-TV on Tuesday (27 December) about her conversations with her nephew while he’s in custody.
Reid said that the boy claims to have 'blocked out' the shooting and quickly changes the topic to his gadgets at home.
“When he calls, he’s just like, ‘make sure all my tablets and laptop and everything of mine is properly packaged,’” Reid claimed.
The aunt also revealed that her nephew had been receiving therapy for over a year for mood and conduct disorders. Part of his treatment was to have limited access to electronic devices.
Reid explained that the boy ‘was upset about these devices being taken away.’
The boy’s grandmother, Lueritha Mann, said she can’t bring herself to speak to him. “I hope I do one day, but right now, no. He took something very precious from me,” she said.
“I can’t believe he did it,” the grandmother told the outlet. “He needs to pay for what he’s done.”
The boy allegedly told his grandmother he was ‘sorry’ for killing his mother before asking where the package containing the headset he bought was.
Mann had previously claimed that the boy hears voices and has difficulty sleeping. In an interview with The Daily Beast, she explained: “There’s two little girls inside his head telling him to do things. And he has an imaginary friend that will tell him to do really bad things.
“He said that his thoughts and everything starts generating at 5 or 6 in the morning,” Mann said. “Sometimes four o’clock.”
The boy’s attorney, Angela Cunningham, asked for his bail to be reduced earlier this month from $50,000 (£41,486) to just $100 (£82.97), the amount he has in his piggy bank savings.
"He told us about piggy banks with savings that he had from gifts, from birthday gifts. And scavenging through cushions in the couch that he’s been able to save up,” Cunningham told the court.
Wisconsin law states that children as young as 10 must be charged as adults for serious crimes, including murder. If convicted, the minor faces up to 60 years in prison.