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Vernon: 13-year old charged

By Abbey Woodcock

Thirteen-year-old Joseph J. Giacona, III was arrested and pled not guilty Thursday to the murder of his father, Joseph J. Giacona, Jr. in their Vernon home in January.

Giacona will be tried as an adult in Oneida County Court, the youngest person ever in the county to be tried as such.

State Police did not comment on the teen's motivation or his relationship to his father during a press conference in which they announced his arrest last Thursday morning.

Giacona III reported his father had been shot in head to 911 on Jan. 24, an estimated 40 minutes after got home, according to police. The first responding police officers located Giacona Jr. and observed massive trauma to his head. Giocona Jr. was transported to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica where he was pronounced dead at 5:17 p.m.

According to police, Giacona III told the responding officers that he had not found a weapon at the home when he arrived. Later, in a written statement he said he had found the shotgun allegedly used in the murder and put in away in the gun cabinet.

State Police investigation at the scene revealed no indication of a struggle in the residence, no signs of forced entry and nothing missing from the home. The only weapons located in the home were found in the gun cabinet.

Kurt Hameline, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney said the boy is being tried as an adult because the penalties would not be steep enough if he was tried and convicted in family court.

Giacona Jr. was allegedly asleep on the couch with the television on at the time of the murder. Hameline called Giacona's actions "adult behavior."

"If convicted of murder in the second degree, a maximum sentence would be life imprisonment. The court would have to set a minimum of no less than five, no greater than nine."

According to Hameline the lack of eyewitness caused the case to take longer than usual to be processed.

"It was imperative that the state police conduct and exhaustive and intensive investigation following up every possible lead and every possible theory with respect to this case," said Hameline.

A pretrial conference has been set for Friday, Oct. 3.

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