But the limits of Arkansas juvenile law may not be able to contain the outrage felt across the nation. Thirteen-year-old Mitchell Johnson, if found guilty, can only serve a maximum of five years for the five counts of capital murder with which he is charged. U.S. Attorney Paula Casey is already exploring the possibility of federal charges. Her boss, Janet Reno, has labeled the case a “priority.”
As for how they could have gotten the guns, Doug Golden, grandfather of 11-year-old suspect Andrew, told reporters the boy had admitted stealing seven of his rifles and pistols -- and pulling the fire alarm that began the ambush -- when Doug spoke to him in jail Wednesday. If true, it raises new questions about where the responsibility of gun-owning adults ends.