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N.M. Teen Accused of Killing Mother

July 10, 2001

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) _ A 16-year-old has been accused of beating his adoptive mother to death with a baseball bat while six young children watched nearby.

Arnell VanDuyne was arrested in Texas on Friday after leading police on a high-speed chase. Authorities said he admitted he tied Norma Young’s hands behind her back and beat her to death a day earlier.

Prosecutor Randall Harris said Monday that he will pursue a first-degree murder charge against the boy, who is fighting extradition to New Mexico. He said the bedroom where Young was killed showed signs of an incredibly violent attack.

``To imagine that kind of violence in a space that size with children there is just unimaginable,″ Harris said. ``And it’s coming from a child, from a young person. It’s frightening.″

Authorities said the boy was apparently angry at Young, 41, because she had told him to clean out a dresser in his bedroom, then checked on him and told him he wasn’t doing it right.

Young and her husband, Paul Young, had taken in VanDuyne as a foster child 3 1/2 years ago and later adopted him.

Paul Young said VanDuyne has faced constant trouble in school during the past five years and had been arrested several times since 1999. He had been home for two weeks before Young was attacked.

Harris said he is considering additional charges against VanDuyne, including rape, robbery, car theft and six counts of child abuse.

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