EXCLUSIVE: Mother of murdered 10-year-old wants suspect to face tougher punishment

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CUMBERLAND, Ind.- A mother is speaking out for the first time after her 10-year-old son was murdered.

Anthony Harmon Junior, who friends and family called A.J., was shot and killed late last month in a Cumberland apartment complex.

Prosecutors have charged a 13-year-old with murder but the boy will be tried as a juvenile.

“That wasn’t a juvenile decision that he made, it wasn’t,” said Tanisha Butler, A.J.’s mom.

In juvenile court, a judge will make the final ruling.  In adult court, a decision would be up to a jury.

“I feel by him being charged as a juvenile we all know he is 13, they will probably hold him until he’s 18, do partial of that and he will be out and my son is still dead,” said Butler.

CBS4 is not naming the 13-year-old suspect.  A murder charge means prosecutors claim the suspect knowing and intentionally did kill the victim.

“It wasn’t an accident. You look in a dictionary and you see purposely, intentionally and you see accident it doesn’t fit the criteria of this situation,” said Butler.

This past weekend A.J.’s dad spoke to media, calling the deadly shooting a terrible accident.  He felt no criminal charges should be filed.

“It’s sad but at the end of the day someone needs to pay and be accountable for it,” said Tanisha Butler, A.J.’s mom.

Court papers show A.J. was shot in the chest.  Investigators say there were kids at teenagers inside the apartment at the time of the shooting.  No word yet on who owned the gun that was used and if anyone else will be charged.

“He just wanted to be something in life. He was a good child,” said Butler.

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