A 14-year-old boy reportedly blames his younger brother's autism for his double murder. Eldon Gale Samuel III of Idaho is on trial for murdering his 13-year-old brother as he cowered under a bed and also killing his father, who he says took out his rage about his brother on him, beating him. The teen is being charged as an adult.
Eldon sounds like he had a rough life from the get-go. Younger brother Samuel was severely autistic and needed all of the family's attention and resources. Eldon's mother reportedly couldn't deal anymore and abandoned the family, leaving the father, Eldon Samuel Jr., to take care of the two children. They all lived in an emergency housing unit owned by a charity.
Despite this, it doesn't seem like the family was getting much help. Witnesses testified that Eldon III's father would get high on drugs and alcohol and leave his children alone. Eldon III was often forced to care for his brother when his father was incapacitated. Additionally, he claims his father regularly beat him. His father also owned several guns and would terrorize the children with them.
How was this father able to own guns and regularly get high on drugs and beat his kid all while living in a charitable foundation's housing unit? Baffling.
Eldon III, not surprisingly, began to develop a visceral hate toward his younger brother -- and felt that, but for him, he would have a "happy family."
One night the father, according to Eldon III, was high on drugs, acting "insane," and talking about zombies. He then allegedly fired one shot in the air (neighbors backed up this account). Frightened that his father was going to come after him, Eldon III retrieved a gun and shot his father several times.
The judge reduced the son's charges to second degree murder after his claims of abuse and fear for his life.
But unfortunately, Eldon III then went after the one person he blamed for everything -- his younger brother, who was hiding under a bed. He allegedly shot him several times and also hacked him with a knife and machete.
This family was sending off warning alerts for a long time -- police had already had at least two encounters with the family, where the father was hospitalized or passed out due to drug usage. The elder boy was described as not surprised by his father's state but frustrated with it. This boy already had to deal with so much. It's incredible no one intervened.
It sounds like this boy snapped. No one this young should have a life like this. Many children do, however, and they don't end up killing their family -- much as they may like to sometimes.
This boy does need to be punished for the death of his brother, who did nothing to him and had the bad luck to be born disabled. Those were terrible moments his poor brother endured, cowering under his bed while his brother killed his father and then came after him.
You're not given a pass to kill because you have a brutal life, but we, as a society, can't claim shock and surprise when a child is given a life like this and then a tragedy happens.
And the teen who never had a childhood may never have an adulthood, spending much or all of it in prison. Seems very unfair.
Do you think he should spend his life in prison?
Image via Kootenai County Sheriff's Office