15-year-old to be tried as adult in parents' murders

15-year-old to be tried as adult in parents' murders

January 31, 2012 8:34:49 PM PST
Oakland police say that the teenage boy accused of killing his parents has admitted that he did it. Prosecutors plan to try 15-year-old Moses Kamin as an adult saying he strangled his mother Susan Poff first, and then laid in wait for his father to come home and strangled him.

The boy made his first appearance before a judge on Tuesday, but he did not enter a plea, nor did he have an attorney. So the judge continued his arrangement until Wednesday.

Meantime, ABC7 is learning more about the boy and his troubled young life.

"He did strangle his mother. She was the first victim and then he strangled his father," said Oakland police spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson.

Watson said Kamin was an angry teen and a troubled student.

"He was acting out and he's a young man, he's growing, and he's exhibiting some behavior that was concerning not only to school, but to his parents and family as well," said Watson.

His mother, Poff, worked as a physician's assistant at San Francisco's Housing and Urban Health Clinic. His father, Robert Kamin, was a psychologist at the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. On Friday night, police arrested Moses at home and charged him with their murders. The bodies were found in the family car.

"Once he had killed them, he did put the bodies in the vehicle and then he did try to set the vehicle on fire," said Watson.

The boy went to Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland until January of 2010. School officials say he had minor disciplinary issues, but no red flags to suggest violence. Moses then enrolled at Envision Charter School, where police say he was a troubled student. Relations with parents became even more strained. In November, he ran away from home and for a brief time stayed in the Occupy encampment in Oakland.

"He was disturbed, he was upset with his parents and again, this is a young person who is growing into himself. He did try to fit in with the occupiers, kind of trying to find himself," said Watson.

On Wednesday, Moses was suspended from school for the second time. On Thursday night, police say he killed his mother and father when they returned from work.

On Tuesday, Poff's family released a statement saying in part the couple's "lives were outward expressions of love... it is what led them to adopt a child no one else wanted. We can be ordinary and look for someone or something to blame, or we can be extraordinary and try just a little harder to love unconditionally."

ABC7 obtained the charging documents on Tuesday. Not only is the boy being tried as an adult, but this is a special circumstances case, meaning possible life in prison or death, because prosecutors say the boy was lying in wait for his father to return home so he could kill him.