Young boy reveals “I just killed a friend”

Young boy reveals
Young boy reveals "I just killed a friend" Credit: Pixabay

Earlier this month in Spain one young boy revealed that he had “just killed a friend” because he “wanted to know what it felt like”. This shocking case has reopened the public debate on exactly how old, is old enough to be criminally responsible.

On Thursday, September 9, at around 8 pm in the evening, emergency services received a call from Galicia. During the call a 13-year-old boy said “I just killed my friend.” The boy had assaulted a schoolmate with an iron bar and the minor then fell from a second-floor balcony. The 13-year-old boy had attacked his friend just because he “wanted to know what it felt like” to kill someone.

The boy has now been admitted to the Psychiatric Unit of the University Hospital of Ourense. At the moment though a file has been opened against him by the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office, but as he is under the age of 14-years-old there is no criminal liability. If the boy were older he could be tried for attempted murder.


Sergio Camara, professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the UNED has commented that: “The debate on where to place the criminal responsibility of minors is always there, it is as old as the rules themselves”.

Lawyer Vicente Pelaez has agreed with Camara, and highlighted that similar cases in the past have caused the public to debate what the age criminal responsibility should be. Pelaez is also the coordinator of the Legal Guidance Service for Minors of the Madrid Bar Association.

According to the Ministry of Justice, lowering the age of criminal responsibility is not something that they have ruled out, “but it is certainly not our priority and it is not on the table at the moment.”

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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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