15-Year-Old's Tragic Home Life Sheds Light on Her Brother's Murder

The disturbing news of a 15-year-old girl and her 11-year-old sister being charged with the premeditated murder of their 16-year-old brother at their home while their parents were away just got even more disturbing. Reports now say that the 15-year-old (whose name we're withholding), who has been accused of pulling the trigger that killed her brother, grew up in a house full of sexual and other abuse. According to the Daily Mail Online, the teens's uncle sexually abused the girl for years. And she and her brother, the one she is charged with killing, were once caught having sex.

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The shooting of their brother happened while the teen and her younger sister's parents were out of town for work. Also in the home at the time was a 3-year-old sibling. The parents were gone for three days. They have been charged with neglect.

The home hardly sounds like an ideal one. In fact, it sounds utterly hellish. Reportedly, both parents admitted to locking the teen in her room for up to 20 days at a time, and police found a blanket and urine bucket in the room. She had also reportedly been removed from school.

Meanwhile, the teen's uncle was convicted of molesting her in 2011. Reportedly, his wife had found movie clips of him and his niece (who would have been around 12 at the time) engaged in various sexual activity. The abuse had reportedly been going on "for a long time." It's unclear if the uncle went to prison and if so for how long.

Also in 2011, the girls' mother reported that she found her two eldest children having sex. She asked what was going on, and the teen had reportedly said she didn't want to do it but had been pressured by her brother and also referenced the abuse by her uncle. Reportedly, child welfare officials investigated but no one was charged -- and obviously the children remained in this toxic environment.

The murder of their brother all began when the teen was locked in her room by her brother, say police. But she was able to talk her 11-year-old sister into unlocking the door.

The girls apparently knew their parents kept a gun in the house but that it was locked in their bedroom. But the older sister was able to remove an air conditioner and enter the room, while the younger sister reportedly kept watch and loaded the gun.

Within minutes, the teen allegedly shot her brother in the neck. She later found her 3-year-old sibling crying and trying to "wake up" her brother, who was dead.

The two older girls eventually fled the home, leaving the 3-year-old behind with her dead brother.

Police found the girls after the youngest called a friend and asked for a ride.

What a huge mess this family sounds like. What this girl did was wrong, but it also sounds like she hardly had any chance in life to learn to make good decisions. She was never protected -- not from her uncle, not from her brother. And it doesn't sound like the parents were very involved in their kids' lives.

Hopefully, the courts will take her horrific home life into account and show this very disturbed young girl some leniency, though if this is the half of it, you wonder if this poor girl can ever be quite normal.

Does she deserve leniency?

 

Image via Columbia County Sheriff's Office

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