Teen Charged in Insulin Killing of Boy

ByABC News
May 3, 2002, 9:21 AM

May 3 -- A 16-year-old Washington state boy is set to be arraigned today on charges that he bound his 8-year-old neighbor with duct tape and fatally injected him with a massive dose of insulin because the child was "bugging" him.

Ryan Alexander of Bellingham, Wash., pleaded not guilty Thursday during a bail hearing in Whatcom County Superior Court, and bail was set at $1 million. He was charged last week with aggravated first-degree murder in the April 19 death of 8-year-old Michael Busby, a neighbor who Alexander said had been "bugging" him.

Prosecutors said that Alexander brought the boy to a field near their homes, tied him up with duct tape, choked him with a stick and then injected him with a fatal dose of insulin.

They said after the boy died, Alexander took a razor blade and sliced deep gashes into the body.

Alexander is charged as an adult, and would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted. He is too young to receive the death penalty.

If Alexander's family is able to post bail, another hearing will be held to determine whether further conditions are needed before his release, the prosecutor's office said. It is likely that Alexander would not be allowed within one mile of Busby's home, which is across the street from the house where his family lives, according to Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Mac Setter.

The prosecutor said that Alexander was under house detention from school, subject to random calls from a computerized system to determine his whereabouts, when the alleged crime occurred.

Allegations of Mental Problems

Alexander's lawyer, public defender Eric Weight, said Thursday that he would seek to get a confession the boy gave to police in a squad car shortly after his arrest declared inadmissible as evidence, because of the teenager's mental problems.

He also said that police acted improperly when they treated the boy as they would any adult suspect.

"Juveniles are more inclined, psychologically, to admit things they might not necessarily have done," Weight said after the hearing Thursday.