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Sentencing delayed for ‘spoiled & stupid’ St. Joseph teen who killed his grandparents

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Joseph Johnson

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A judge has delayed the sentencing of a northwest Missouri teenager who admitted to killing his grandparents.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that defense attorney Susan Rinne sought the delay in the sentencing of Joseph Johnson, 17, who was certified as an adult. Rinne says she wanted to talk to an expert about juvenile brain development.

Johnson described himself as “spoiled and stupid” when he pleaded guilty in December to two counts of second-degree murder.

The teen was home-schooled and lived with his grandparents, 72-year-old James Johnson an 76-year-old Beverly Johnson. According to prosecutors, Johnson shot his grandmother in the head once, and his grandfather in the head twice.

He was arrested during a traffic stop in July in Platte County a few hours after their deaths.

Buchanan County prosecutor Dwight Scroggins objected to the defense request, calling it “outrageous.” The sentencing had been set for Friday. A new sentencing date hasn’t been set.

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