On an ordinary day, I have no sympathy for someone who takes a life in cold blood. But when you have a teen boy accused of killing his own father, you can bet there will be extenuating circumstances. And in the case of Christopher and Jill Thorpe's son, Channing Thorpe, the circumstances are particularly heartbreaking.
Cops in Plant City say Christopher Thorpe had been fighting with his wife in the living room of their mobile home. Then the fight moved into the bedroom, and Christopher allegedly wrapped his hands around Jill's neck, choking the life out of his wife. Shooting his father, cops say, was the boy's way of protecting his mother.
Put yourself in that situation for a moment. You have both of your parents in front of you, and you know you could lose one of them. What do you do? Sitting comfy in front of a computer screen, can you even come up with an answer? I don't know that I can.
But this poor 17-year-old wasn't pondering a hypothetical. He was just a kid facing this in real life, and he did what he thought was right. He allegedly shot his own father to save his mother's life.
It sounds like he made the right choice. His mom is safe. The district attorney is reviewing the case but so far hasn't issued charges. Even Christopher Thorpe's sister has restrained from criticizing her nephew.
And thank goodness: he's going to need a lot of support from here on out. You don't suddenly get over killing someone, least of all your father. Whether you were in the right or not doesn't change that someone is dead, and you have blood on your hands.
The situation in the Thorpe household drives home why I have always said that sometimes people should separate FOR their kids. No kid should be put in this sort of situation because of their parents' bad relationship. No kid should have to choose between the life of their mother or their father.
Do you feel for Channing Thorpe? What do you think cops should do with the teenager?
Image via Chris Yarzab/Flickr