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'US boy faces murder charge in dad's death'

world Updated: Aug 31, 2009 11:29 IST
AP
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A 10-year-old boy is facing a murder charge in the shooting death of his father. Police alleged that the boy used his own rifle to shoot his father and then called authorities. Arriving at the family's home Thursday evening, police found 42-year-old Byron Hilburn with a head wound. He was pronounced dead at an Albuquerque hospital.

The youth reportedly told officers that he thought his father was disciplining him too harshly and too often,
according to KOAT-TV.

Local media, in weekend reports, said a first-degree murder charge was pending against the boy. There
was no comment on Sunday from authorities. A dispatcher taking messages for the Belen Police Department told The Associated

Press that spokesmen were unavailable until Monday.

Police said they suspect that the shooting was witnessed by the boy's 6-year-old sister, who has since been
placed with relatives.

The boy is in the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

Hilburn was divorced and had custody of both children, police said.

Though neighbours said the family seemed normal,the state agency responsible for protecting children had been
called about problems in the home.