A 15-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder in Florida after an altercation with his mother’s boyfriend, 37-year-old Paul Gregg Jr. Gregg was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound when authorities arrived on Feb. 15.
Investigators determined the boy shot and killed Gregg with a shotgun during an argument at the family home in Mulberry, Florida, according to The Ledger. After the incident, the teen and his mother, Jessica Whidden, went to a local church and called the police.
The incident started as a verbal argument between the boy and Gregg, and Gregg allegedly claimed he “wished he could kill her and that he would torment her until she committed suicide,” reports the Daily Mail.
Things turned violent when Gregg retrieved a knife from the kitchen and threatened both the teen and Whidden. Whidden was hiding in the bathroom while her son stood in front of the door, according to reports.
Gregg was found dead near a closet in the home that contained a number of firearms. Gregg was allegedly drunk at the time of the argument, and both he and Whidden often had arguments while under the influence of alcohol, according to The Ledger.
“It’s just a red-hot mess,” Polk County Sheriff Gracy Judd said during the investigation. “We got a man who was drunk. A girlfriend he’s lived with for five years. We got a kid in the middle of this manure pile, and we’re trying to sort it out.”
Both Gregg and Whidden had been arrested before, Gregg for battery and DUI and Whidden for driving with a license that was suspended or revoked, according to reports.
The teen has been charged with the death of Gregg, but it remains unclear if he will be tried as a minor or an adult.
In 2015, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled that all of the state’s juvenile killers who received automatic sentences of life in prison must be resentenced. The new law bans automatic life sentences for juveniles, according to the Naples Daily News.
Sources: Daily Mail, The Ledger, Naples Daily News, WFLA / Photo credit: WFLA