911 tape barred at trial of boy accused in killing

Benjamin Hilburn

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A state appeals court has barred 911 recordings in a case of a 10-year-old New Mexico boy accused of killing his father, whom defense attorney say abused him for year.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled this week the recording contained statements from Benjamin Hilburn that shouldn’t be admissible in the trial involving the father’s death.

The boy’s lawyer, William J. Cooley, says authorities now have little evidence against his client and should drop the case.

Prosecutors say the Hilburn put a gun to his father’s head and killed him at their Belen home in 2009. Hilburn, now 15, faces first-degree murder charges.

Experts say the boy is just one of a handful of very young children in the nation’s history to face first-degree murder.

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