The Daily Mail reports that Michael Cole Whidden, 15, was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday for shooting his mother’s abusive boyfriend in an attempt to protect her.
Allegedly an argument broke out between his mom, Jessica Whidden, 36, and her boyfriend, Paul Gregg Jr., 37, and escalated to the man threatening her with a steak knife and claimed he would “torment her until she committed suicide.”
The murder reportedly occurred in the early Wednesday morning at a home that Jessica shared with her teenage son and Gregg Jr. in Mulberry, Florida, says the report.
On Tuesday evening she left and returned early the next morning. The report states that Gregg Jr. approached Jessica with a knife in the bathroom, and began yelling that “he wished he could kill her and would torment her until she committed suicide.”
Afraid of Gregg Jr. hurting his mother, Michael blocked him from entering the bathroom until Gregg Jr. eventually walked away. Then the teenager went into the back bedroom to retrieve a 12-gauge shotgun and proceeded to point it at Gregg Jr., who was seated on the couch. The drunken boyfriend began to walk to the back bedroom where more guns were stored, but Michael shot him before he made it to the closet.
Immediately after the boyfriend was gunned down, Michael and his mom fled to a nearby church and called the police. He told officers that “he had enough” and was afraid that if he did not get involved, Gregg Jr. might hurt his mom.
Gregg Jr. had a history of abusing Jessica, but she never reported the repeat incidents to authorities. She told police that Michael often stepped in to protect her from Gregg Jr. Both Jessica and Gregg Jr. have criminal records – she was previously arrested for driving with a suspended license and he had arrests for battery and driving under the influence.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said of the heart-breaking ordeal: “It’s just a red-hot mess. We got a man who was drunk. A girlfriend he’s lived with for five years. We got a kid in the middle of this manure pile, and we’re trying to sort it out.”
Michael was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder, though it is not clear if he will be tried and as an adult or minor in court, says the report.
H/T: Daily Mail
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