Instead, Woodard says her son places the blame for the shooting squarely on Andrew Golden, his 11-year-old fellow suspect. That’s despite more evidence that the two boys barely knew each other -- far from being cousins, as originally reported, the pair were seen together only in their assigned school bus seating. Woodard’s claim also runs counter to the accusation of Doug Golden, Andrew’s grandfather -- who says Mitch was the one responsible for stealing his guns. The two families may squabble over whose child took the lead, but only the Arkansas juvenile court can untangle the truth.
In Jonesboro, the finger-pointing continues. Gretchen Woodard, mother of 13-year-old accused killer Mitchell Johnson, tells TIME this week that her son was not the instigator of the sniper shooting that left four of his classmates and one of his teachers dead. “Mitch told me he never meant to hurt anybody and he didn’t take specific aim,” Woodard told TIME reporter Sylvester Monroe. “We don’t need to paint a rosy picture of Mitch. He knew right from wrong.”