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14-year-old charged with murder took nap after alleged attack

Posted at 10:02 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 00:18:00-05

SUN LAKES, AZ — New details are available about a 14-year-old charged with stabbing and killing his aunt in their Sun Lakes home last year.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office alleges the teen killed 42-year-old Tonya Harper at the family home near Alma School and Chandler Heights sometime on the night of Friday, February 1, 2019.

New police records and body camera footage reveal the teen took a nap after the alleged attack, and one of the victim's last acts was telling her sister that she thought her nephew was responsible for her throat being cut.

Deputies quickly realized they had a possible murder scene on their hands when they found at least three phone lines cut and one relative's cell phone reported missing.

"I think this may be a homicide," one Chandler police officer can be heard whispering to an MCSO deputy.

Deputies interviewed the teen suspect's mother, who was also the victim's older sister.

"You found her correct?" asked the deputy. "No, She came and woke me up, holding her neck and she said, 'Sis sis! Wake up call 911 call 911! I've been stabbed'," the sister responded. "And she was running around. We told her to sit down! And she said she didn't know who it was, but that she thought it was my son."

ABC15 is not identifying the teenage suspect, even though he's being charged as an adult, because he may have mental health issues.

"As far as the relationship between your son and his aunt?" asked a deputy.
"She is his favorite aunt," said the teen's mom.
"Anything that would've led to this?"
"No, not at all!"

New police reports reveal the teen fell asleep in a car while the investigation unfolded around him. When informed of his aunt's death, a deputy wrote that "he did not show... any emotions or feelings."

Prosecutors say the boy acted with premeditation when he stabbed Harper in the neck. The teen has also been charged with one count of preventing the use of a telephone in an emergency.

His trial has been delayed and continued. It is now set for May 21. The teen was released after his mother posted a million dollar cash bond.