UPDATE 10/12/21: The 15-year old who allegedly killed his mother, Stacy Barney, in January, 2021 will be tried as an adult. No trial date has been set yet.
In district court, Collin County prosecutors argued the 16-year-old boy accused of killing his mother, Stacy Barney, should stand trial as an adult, facing tougher penalties if he is convicted of murder.
(Read our coverage from when it happened)
In January, just days before a massive ice storm paralyzed North Texas and parts of the rest of the country, Collin County residents in a west McKinney neighborhood noticed a police helicopter and several police units as authorities searched for the missing boy.
McKinney police investigators said they viewed security camera footage of the boy choking 50-year-old Stacy Barney and beating her in the head with a hammer, according to law enforcement testimony in court this week, reported first by The Dallas Morning News.
A mother who was said to adore her children, Stacy Barney also apparently was alarmed over the years that the boy might one day cause her or the family physical harm. Reading from Barney’s personal journal in open court, a prosecutor said Barney wrote when the boy was 7, “There is nothing more hurtful than to hear one day he’d kill all of us.”
The state argued the boy has already reached a point in his life where he cannot be rehabilitated and must face adult consequences, which in this case could stack up to decades if not life in prison. The Collin County District Attorney’s Office pulled in law enforcement, including a juvenile probation officer who supervised the boy. During their testimony, it was revealed the Stacy Barney and her husband Craig Barney told the boy the night of Barney’s killing that he would be taken to a treatment center in another state. Testimony also showed that the parents hid knives from the kitchen in their bedroom.
Reached by phone Wednesday, the boy’s attorney, April Steele, declined to comment to Local Profile about the case or court proceedings, but in open court she argued the boy was led down a dark path after suffering from a sexual assault at the hands of an adult, abuse at home and bullying at school. He spent time at treatment facilities, and he was sent to juvenile lock-up for allegedly assaulting a school administrator. The defense team argued the juvenile justice system is designed for situations like this one.
The boy’s father called the police at about 1 a.m. the morning of Jan. 3, but by the time authorities arrived, Stacy Barney was already dead. Authorities said the boy attempted to strike Craig Barney when the man found the boy dragging the woman’s body out of the living room, the Morning News reported from court. Craig Barney was said to defend himself from the boy, and at such time the boy ran from the home.
“Good night, I love you,” is what the boy allegedly said to his mother before striking her, telling the same to his father, according to testimony in court.
District Judge Cynthia McCrann will decided whether the boy will stand trial as a juvenile or an adult. The case is schedule for another court gathering on Tuesday, but according to the Morning News a decision is not expected at that time.