Prosecutors charged Brandon Roses against the objections of his parents, who insist he did not mean to kill five-year-old Charolette. "A nine-year- old cannot even comprehend taking somebody's life on purpose," said Brandon's mother, Laurel Roses. The court was deciding yesterday whether Brandon should be removed from his home for psychiatric evaluation. His family wants him to stay while he gets counselling.
Mrs Roses testified on Wednesday that she left Brandon in charge of his sister and six-year-old brother on 23 June while she took their three older siblings to a dance rehearsal. Brandon became annoyed with Charolette and told her to go to her room, but she refused.
He then took the empty rifle from his father's closet and loaded it with shells that he found in a cupboard
Brandon, seated at the defence table with his father, looked bewildered. "This is a real sensitive little boy, and they're just destroying his life," said Brandon's grandfather, Ramon House.
But Detective Craig Roberts testified that Brandon's teacher said he had become confrontational over minor issues in the months before the shooting."The family was an accident waiting to happen," Mr Roberts recalled the teacher as saying.