Boy, 14, charged as adult in shooting death of sister's boyfriend on California reservation

Friday, February 9th 2007, 3:34 pm
By: News On 6

UKIAH, Calif. (AP) _ A 14-year-old boy accused of gunning down a man believed to be his sister's boyfriend on a small American Indian reservation shook his head and cried Friday as a judge explained the murder charge.

A judge set bail at $550,000 for Marcos C. Escareno, who is being charged as an adult and did not enter a plea. The judge postponed arraignment until Feb. 21 after Escareno's family asked for more time to hire a lawyer.

Authorities say Escareno used a rifle to shoot the man in the head and back as the man sat in a van Tuesday on the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria, Mendocino County Sheriff's Lt. Kurt Smallcomb said. The victim was not immediately named because he had not been positively identified by family members, but authorities said they think he dated Escareno's 22-year-old sister.

Investigators did not discuss a possible motive.

Escareno, who arrived in county court wearing an orange jail shirt with his hands shackled at his waist, is a member of the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians, a tribe spokesman said. The victim was not a member of the tribe, the spokesman said.

Escareno was arrested hours after the shooting at his mother's house on the rancheria, a small reservation where 250 members of the Pomo tribe live near the coast about 140 miles north of San Francisco.

The boy could be sentenced to up to life in prison if convicted. His mother, aunt and two of his sisters wept in court during the short hearing.

Escareno's mother, Mary Logan, later said she didn't know what happened and that her son had not had problems with the law.

However, Smallcomb said the boy had been due in juvenile court next week. Authorities declined to say what charges he faced in that case.