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Judge favors group home for St. Johns boy

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Associated Press

ST. JOHNS, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona boy who has spent nearly three years in a residential treatment center for fatally shooting his father's friend when the child was 8 years old could be leaving there soon.

A judge on Thursday said a group home would help the boy build on improvements he's made in the years since he was charged in a double homicide in St. Johns. Nearly a teenager now, the boy pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the 2008 death of the friend. Prosecutors dropped a murder charge against him in his father's death.

The boy was in court Thursday because of probation violations. Testimony showed that his time at the treatment facility had been rocky, but evaluators say he's improved vastly under the care of a new psychologist this year.

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