Fourteen-year-old Joseph Giacona.
My friend Brad Lewallen at JusticeforJuveniles.org recently notified me of the strange case of New York’s then 13-year-old sacrificial lamb. Now fourteen, Joseph J. Giacona III has been charged as an adult with the second-degree murder in September of his father.
Prosecutors say Joseph shot his 37-year-old father in the head with a shotgun while the man slept on the couch in their home. Police began investigating the boy’s role in the killing when inconsistencies in his story began surfacing shortly after police arrived. The prosecutor’s decision to prosecute Joseph as an adult was supposedly based on three factors: Joseph’s failure to take responsibility for the killing, the fact the family court’s sentences are too light, and the killing was in cold blood.
The youth, who is presently being held in a juvenile detention facility in New York, has denied killing his father, although he has apparently admitted to placing a shotgun, the alleged murder weapon, in a gun cabinet after finding it on the floor. His case has been adjourned so that Joseph’s attorneys can continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder. And what strange circumstances they are.
TIMELINE TO A MURDER
Many questions have been raised regarding what actually took place in Joseph’s father’s death. First of all, there have been claims made that the fourteen year old’s father was suicidal at the time of his death
Also, the murder took place during the day, and police say Joseph missed school that day. Yet, verification in writing shows Joseph did in fact attend school the entire day.
Dismissal bells ring at 2:21 p.m. and the bus leaves school at 2:30 p.m. Which leaves Joseph arriving at home between 2:35 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., giving him time to put the garbage can that was left at the curb back where it belonged. Joseph then made his first 911 call at 3:11 p.m. Apparently, Joseph had waited to call 911 because he was not allowed in his father’s bedroom to use the phone and the cell needed to be recharged.
NO GSR TEST
But what’s really strange, and indicative of an overall pattern of shoddy police work, is that no GSR test was performed on Joseph after he picked up the weapon from the floor and put it back into the gun case. No GSR testing was ever done on his father’s hands for possible suicide.
The bullet used in the murder could fit into two different guns, not just the shotgun Joseph put away. And why is it, if Joseph did commit the murder, that all of his clothing, including shoes, came back clean after two different forensics tests ordered by the DA? How does a kid stay clean after committing a brutal murder of his own father? It doesn’t add up.
And what about the fact that two different police officers recorded very different versions of Joseph’s reaction to the murder? One states he was calm and the other states Joseph was visibly shaking and crying. Which one is it?
There was also the fact that Joseph had not been taking his meds for ADHD even though his father was court ordered to provide them to him.
Joseph also recalls that he overheard a police officer at the scene of the crime state out loud that it looked as if someone else had been in the home before Joseph had entered after school.
THE FATHER AT WORK
And then there’s the issue of the father having been at work that day. It has been verified that yes, father did got to work on the day in question, but then asked his supervisor to leave around 11:15 a.m. to go get his son. Apparently the father had received an emergency phone call on his cell from someone stating Joseph needed him. He left work extremely upset.
Who made this phone call to Joseph’s father is still in question. The school has already verified that the call did not come from Joseph otherwise they would have it on their records.
STRANGE MURDEROUS MISCELLANEY
And then there’s the legal tidbits regarding the fact that Joseph had never previously been in trouble in school or with the law before. And why was Joseph not arrested until eight months after his father’s death?
And what about the fact that Joseph’s father’s cousin had committed suicide almost one year to the day of Joseph’s death. The father had apparently made statements to others that they would one day come home one day and find him with his head blown off.
These questions must all be answered before we can even consider shipping this child off to an adult prison for the rest of his life. We’re all behind you, Joseph.