15-year-old Va. boy charged with 2nd-degree murder after shooting mom's boyfriend

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder after police say he shot and killed his mother's boyfriend during a domestic dispute between the couple in Spotsylvania.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office says the boy's mother and her boyfriend, 37-year-old John Conroy Jr., had been arguing Tuesday afternoon. Deputies say it turned physical and Conroy attacked the mother.

That is when investigators say the 15-year-old boy grabbed his mother's semi-automatic gun from storage and shot Conroy multiple times and killing him.

The Spotsylvania home has been cleared and turned back over to the teenager's mother. But the 15-year-old is in custody at the Rappahannock Regional Juvenile Detention Center facing the murder charge along with use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

"In the Commonwealth of Virginia, all homicides are presumed by statute to be second-degree murder," said Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Captain Jeff Pearce. "In this case, while it's being investigated in consultation with the commonwealth attorney, they felt that would be the appropriate charge to place on the juvenile at that time. As the investigation nears its completion, which should be done rather quickly, the evidence, the facts are presented to the commonwealth and they then make the determination to either raise it to a more significant charge, reduce it to a lesser charge or dismiss it all together."

Deputies say because the investigation is the still in the early stages, they would not say if there was a previous domestic violence history between Conroy and the suspect's mother.

For now, the 15-year-old will remain behind bars until his next court appearance in three weeks.