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Two Boys Held in Family Shooting

June 3, 1998

BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nev. (AP) _ Kyle Ray and Colby Becker were supposed to graduate this week from Battle Mountain Junior High. Instead, they are in prison, charged with killing Ray’s parents and sister.

Prosecutors said the 15-year-old boys plotted the killings, then traded off pulling the trigger Saturday.

But a lawyer for one boy said Tuesday his eighth-grade client didn’t kill anyone and will plead innocent to the charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder that both youths face.

The freckle-faced Ray and his friend showed little emotion during the 30-minute arraignment Tuesday in Lander County Justice Court. They were held on $300,000 bail and face a preliminary hearing June 16.

The boys will be tried as adults but, under state law, are too young to be sentenced to death. If convicted, they could get life in prison without parole.

A neighbor said both youths were under a lot of stress.

``All I know is they both hated their parents and they both had a lot of problems at home,″ said Aurora Stevens, whose 14-year-old daughter is a close friend and classmate of both suspects.

``Kyle and Colby were here all the time at our house,″ she said. ``They were good kids. I don’t know why it happened. We’re not saying what they did was right. ... Colby had run away so many times I don’t think they thought that was a solution anymore.″

The criminal complaint filed Tuesday accused the boys of plotting the murders of Ray’s parents, James, 42, and Kimberly, 37, and his sister, Jennifer, 12.

It said Becker shot James Ray with a Remington .22-caliber rifle and Kyle Ray shot his mother and his sister with the same weapon.

``There was an agreement,″ District Attorney Will Mattly said.

Public Defender Hy Forgeron, representing Becker, said his client would plead innocent. He would not say whether Becker was present at the time of the shooting.

``It’s too soon to say exactly what took place. The information I have is he didn’t kill anyone. Whether he was there or not may be irrelevant,″ Forgeron said.

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