• Teen MySpace killer gets 20 years

    Date: 07.17.09 | by Judge Tom.

    In 2008, Hughstan Schlicker practically lived on MySpace when he wasn’t at school. The 15-year-old from Mesa, Arizona was depressed and had been comforted by some of his online friends.

    When his parents discovered his conversations and talk of suicide, they took his computer from him. He later commented about losing his computer that he felt “like I was stabbed with a knife.”

    Hughstan found a shotgun and shells in the garage. He planned to shoot himself, but then decided to kill his father first. He ditched school and when his dad came home, he shot him in the back of the head in the kitchen. He then called the police and reported what he did.

    Hughstan was charged as an adult with killing his father and he pleaded guilty to second degree murder. In July, 2009, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    For more about being tried as an adult, see:  http://askthejudge.info/can-i-be-tried-as-an-adult/121/

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    1 Comment subscribe to these comments.

    • talliewakker
      Thu, 04 Feb 2010 at 01:39

      The parents failed to handle this situation properly. If a kid makes threats to commit suicide, the solution isnt to take away their only link to their friends. That is punishing them for being depressed! Additionally, they didnt seek professional help for him when they were in danger of losing him? I dont know what this family was like, but it seems that the parents were certainly neglectful, or at least uninvolved. All of them paid the price.
      Dear Talliewakker: Thank you for your comments.