OLATHE, Kan. -- A 14-year-old boy charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of his father appeared in court Tuesday.
It was his second appearance and lasted only 60 seconds. The judge ordered the boy undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he should be tried as an adult or a juvenile.
Prosecutors say the 14-year old killed his father during a custody exchange from the boy's mother to his father.
The boy's defense attorney, Trey Pettlon, said it would be disastrous for his client to be tried as an adult.
"I've got a client who is a kid," he said. "If you looked at a number line, he's as close to ten years old as he is to 18."
If convicted as an adult, he could face life in prison with no option for parole for 25 years. If convicted as a juvenile, he could face up to eight years in custody.
Pettlon issued a press release today, describing the boy as affectionate and respectful toward parents and adults. According to the release, the boy experienced years of physical and mental abuse from his father. Click here to read the news release. Note: FOX 4 will not release the boy's name unless he is certified as an adult.
FOX 4 spoke with family members of the victim, Darren Gay. While they did not want to go on camera, Gay's borther did say that he expects many things to be said during the court proceedings. He said some of it will be true and some of it will be false.
The 14-year-old boy's next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 29.