11-Year-Old Boy Charged With Murdering 6-Year-Old Brother

The boy is the youngest to face murder charge in the state in the last 90 years.

ByABC News
July 2, 2011, 4:53 PM

July 2, 2011 — -- An 11-year-old boy has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his 6-year-old brother in Martinsville, Ind., making him the youngest person to face a murder charge in the state in 90 years.

Andrew Frye was shot in the head with a .22-caliber gun at his home on Thursday afternoon, according to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.

Andrew's 11-year-old brother was the only other person at home at the time of the shooting. He called 911 afterward at about 6:15 pm, the police said.

The boy will be charged as a juvenile with murder and criminal recklessness, Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega announced on Friday.

"The court heard a probable cause hearing, at which time the court found probable cause and authorized detention of the 11-year-old," Sonnega told ABC affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis.

Sonnega declined to release many details of the incident, citing strict privacy rules in juvenile court.

"There are a lot of unanswered questions. The detectives worked all last night ... and they will continue to work all weekend," Sonnega said.

Initial reports from the sheriff's office indicated that the boy's shooting was an accident, but Sonnega hinted differently.

"There are cases where what you first believe to be true isn't necessarily where the evidence takes you," Sonnega told WRTV.

"There's a lot of things we need to find out. We've got to err on the side of safety, and we have to act appropriately," he said.

"Murder can be knowingly or intentionally. There is a slight difference. Knowingly means when you engage in conduct you know there is a high probability of the outcome," Sonnega told the Indianapolis Star.

When police officers arrived at the home, they found the 6-year-old boy on a bed in a bedroom with a gunshot wound in his head. The boy was taken to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, and he died there less than two hours later, police told the Indianapolis Star.

The two boys were cared for by their mother and her boyfriend, who arrived at the hospital before the boy died, police said.

Prosecutors and police are investigating possible neglect charges against the adults, said Sonnega, according to the Indy Star.

"Obviously this is a very tragic time for them. We'll address that issue down the road," said Sonnega.

Friends and family attended a prayer vigil on Friday night.

"[Andrew] was a good kid," neighbor Jessica Purgason told the Star. "He was quiet. He just wanted to play. That's all he was about."

"[Andrew's] full of life and smart and funny," Karri Vandagrifft, Frye's aunt, said in an interview with the Star. "We're going to miss him."