• 11-year-old charged with second-degree murder under NH juvenile laws

    By: Zareen Syed

    Updated:

    ALTON, N.H. - After an 11-year-old in New Hampshire was charged with murder in connection with a double shooting at his family home in Alton, the nature of the case is raising questions from legal minds. 

    Last Friday morning at the Dobbins Way home, police found Lizette Eckert, 50, dead with a single gunshot wound. An autopsy later determined the death was homicide, and said the cause was a single gunshot wound to the head.

    James Eckert, 48, was also in the house suffering multiple gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead.

    On Monday, his autopsy determined that his death was also a homicide. According to the Chief Medical Examiner, the cause of Mr. Eckert's death was a single gunshot wound to the head. 

    Authorities searched a wooded area near the residence, and eventually took the juvenile into custody. 

    MORE: Juvenile charged after double shooting in NH home; 2 victims dead

    The boy was initially charged under the state's juvenile laws with one count of reckless second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. 

    Because of the boy's age, authorities are being tight-lipped about everything from his name to his relationship to the victims. 

    A criminal defense attorney who has previously represented juveniles in New Hampshire explains how a case like this moves forward.

    "It's surprising... for sure, for sure, and the first thought that pops into people's heads is why, why would this happen," said Criminal Defense attorney Mark Stevens. "The nature of this case is that we don't know very much about it." 

    Last week, very few specific answers were given by officials regarding the incident.

    "Because this incident involves a juvenile we are prohibited by law from providing you with much additional information," Geoffrey Ward, Sr. Assistant Attorney General had said.

    The AG initially charged the 11-year-old under juvenile laws with murder and attempted murder, but that was before James Eckert died late Friday.

    "In New Hampshire, what would happen is there's a certification process where the state would interview the child and determine whether or not they are going to seek certification as an adult," Stevens said.

    On Tuesday, the New Hampshire AG released an update on the charges filed against the boy. 

    The 11-year-old has now been charged under New Hampshire's juvenile laws with an additional count of second-degree murder in connection with the death of James Eckert.

    As we previously reported, if the boy continues to be charged as a juvenile moving forward, the facts of the case would not be made public.

    That being said, no further information is expected to be released.

    The investigation into both deaths remain active and ongoing, according to the AG. 

    The Eckerts' church will be holding a private wake on Thursday evening and a funeral service on Friday. 

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