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Accused Mich. Boy Back in School

April 20, 2000

FLINT, Mich. (AP) _ The 6-year-old boy accused of killing his first-grade classmate is attending a special program at a home for children who have been neglected, abused or have emotional problems, a prosecutor said.

The boy is accused of fatally shooting Kayla Rolland at Buell Elementary School in February. State officials placed him in the school and covered the expenses, said Sam Riddle, a spokesman for Tamarla Owens, the boy’s mother.

``He has obviously benefited from this wonderful place,″ Genesee County Prosecutor Arthur A. Busch said in e-mail sent this week. ``He has progressed in a fashion that all of our community has hoped would happen.″

Attorney J. Dallas Winegarden, who represents the victim’s parents, said the move angered the family.

``We’re shocked, appalled and outraged that they would put him back in any school, and we’re concerned about the safety of other children who would be around this 6-year-old boy,″ Winegarden said.

Kayla’s mother, Veronica McQueen, has transferred her other two children to private schools in the Flint area, Winegarden said.

Owens’ two other children, a third-grade boy and a girl in kindergarten, also are attending a different private school at state expense, Riddle said. All three have lived with the woman’s sister since the Feb. 29 shooting.

``They’re all glad to be back in school,″ Owens said.

Sheryl Thompson of the Family Independence Agency, which placed the children in the private schools, said she could not comment on the specifics of the case.

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