King Brothers' Mom On Boys' Guilty Pleas

ByABC News via GMA logo
November 14, 2002, 9:32 PM

P E N S A C O L A, Fla., Nov. 15 -- Derek King, 14, and Alex King, 13, admitted beating their father to death with a baseball bat before setting their home on fire as part of a plea agreement Thursday, but the boys' mother says her children don't have a clue about what's about to happen.

After Thursday's plea, Derek was sentenced to eight years in prison, while Alex received seven years.

Their mother, Kelly Marino, who did not live with the family at the time of the killings, says the brothers don't understand how their lives are about to change.

Visions of Playgrounds

"They think they're going to a playground, they really do," Marino said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "They think they're going to be with other children, they're going to have fun," she said.

The boys admitted to third-degree murder and arson charges after the judge threw out second-degree murder convictions against them and ordered the King brothers' case into mediation.

Circuit Judge Frank Bell took the unusual step of ordering mediation in part because of contradictory trials.Both the boys and a family friend, Rick Chavis, had been tried for the crime before separate juries.

Prosecutors presented evidence at one trial that Chavis, a convicted child molester, was the killer and argued before another jury that the boys committed the murder. Chavis was acquitted, but the boys were convicted.

The victim, 40-year-old Terry King, was bludgeoned to death with an aluminum baseball bat as he slept in a recliner at his home in Cantonment, Fla., on Nov. 26, 2001. The house was then set on fire.

Bell read the boys' confession Thursday, which said: "Alex suggested I kill my dad. I murdered my dad with an aluminum baseball bat. I set the house on fire from my dad's bedroom the first story we told police was partially true the rest was changed to protect Rick [Chavis] Rick started talking about what we should say to the police. He told us to say we killed our dad because he abused us. That was not true."