Mesa 16-Year-Old Accused of Murdering Girlfriend's Mom Identified as Braden Matthew Rockriver; Will Be Charged as Adult

montydowntown.jpg
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has decided to charge a Mesa 16-year-old as an adult for the murder of the boy's girlfriend's mother.
Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Cobb tells New Times that the Mesa 16-year-old accused of murdering his girlfriend's mother will be charged as an adult.

The boy, identified as Braden Matthew Rockriver, will be charged with first-degree murder, a class 1 dangerous felony; and first-degree burglary, a class two dangerous felony, Cobb says.

Mesa Sergeant Ed Wessing says Rockriver told police that while at school yesterday, he  decided to break into his 18-year-old girlfriend's home and kill her, or himself -- or both.

He then stole his father's pistol from a closet in his house. While loading the gun, it accidentally discharged into a wall in Rockriver's bedroom.

Rockriver then walked to the victim's home and broke into the garage and waited for someone to open a door leading into the house.

After about 15 minutes of waiting, the victim opened the door and Rockriver forced himself inside.

Following a brief struggle with his girlfriend's mother, Rockriver shot her in the head with the stolen pistol.

His girlfriend's brother heard the gunshot and saw Rockriver emerge from the laundry room where he'd shot the woman The girlfriend's brother retreated to a bedroom, where he and Rockriver had a brief scuffle before the victim's husband woke up.

The victim's husband found Rockriver and his son fighting in the girlfriend's bedroom. The suspect still had the gun in his hand, at this point, but the homeowner was able to wrestle it away from him.

As the husband ran to the laundry room -- where he discovered his fatally wounded wife -- Rockriver managed to slip out a bedroom window, leaving the weapon inside the home.

He was taken into custody about an hour later in an apartment complex near Superstition Springs Mall.


My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
Guest
Guest

I have been a longtime friend of the Strebes.  I was Jon's best man at their wedding in '94.  This hurts so much!  A senseless act!  I am truly sorry this boy made this horrendous decision!  Passing judgement is for the Big Guy, not for us.  The courts down here have to make a decision on this boy to keep him from killing again for our safety.  NOT an easy task!  My heart aches for both families!  For those of you with children, PAY ATTENTION TO THEM!  They are looking to you for GOOD guidance and approval as well as love!  The saying goes: "It starts in the home." 

Ash3343
Ash3343

She will be missed. What an amazing woman. I cannot believe she is gone from us. She made every day worth living. The smile on her face each second was incredible. 

Bryantblough3350
Bryantblough3350

Im sorry to hear about your loss. I was friends with braden from 7th grade to 9th grade. He was a good kid considering the home he came from and the type of family he was raised in. Braden would never had done anything like this in freshman year. But sadly drugs came into his life sending him tl ace for failing school and now this. I miss braden. People see him as a bad person, but if people could see the difference in the personality in his pictures from happy and full of life to empty and nothing there. I feel that maybe if he didnt meet the 18 year old girl or maybe he didnt get sent to ace then maybe he would have been sober and full of life. I know people who have known him since pre school and they still are crying to this day and not showing up for school. Its going to affect all of us both family an friends.

Mistalee
Mistalee

What valid theory is there to support charging a minor as an adult? The reason that juveniles are treated differently from adults in the criminal court system is a recognition of a basic reality of human development - juveniles do not have the same developed sense of right and wrong, and the same degree of control of their behavior, that adults do.

This doesn't change just because a kid does something really horrible. And the only arguments I've seen voiced in favor of trying juveniles as adults are emotional arguments based on feelings of anger and desire for revenge.

matt gordon
matt gordon

Several factors led to juveniles being eligible for adult charges, but basically it was the Reagan era during which sound bytes were found to be much easier to use than research to change public opinion. Since people felt safer after recently passing outrageously long and punitive drug sentences for minor drug crimes, they would save us from the juvenile criminals. Rather than research and write new laws, just get one passed to allow prosecutors to decide in which court they would be tried. Once the 'fear formula' was found to be successful, we should have noticed a pattern of how quickly a new fear would arrive but suddenly diminish after an election but alas we seem surprised each time.

De'bad
De'bad

the whole thing is sad!!!! also i read it was an ex-girlfriend also that the plan was to kill her not her mother...her mother just happened to be the one opening the door from the laundry room to the garage where he broke into... it is easy to judge people and have an opinion...but very hard to walk in those shoes...it appears that a lot of people are hurt..the family that lost there wife and mother as well as the family that is now going to lose there son to prison...I for one do not want to guess what drove this young man to what he did, the sad news is that he will never get the help he needs he will be forced to grow up in prison which will never be like a home.  his life as well as those he has affected by his actions will never be the same...

heartbreaking the whole thing

Jason
Jason

A good decision by Monty to charge the 16 year old boy as an adult.

Stacy: I agree that there is something wrong with an 18 year old girl dating a 16 year old guy. I think maybe the girlfriend had some influence on the 16 year old.

What a way to throw away your life dude.  

Stop
Stop

How do you judge the victims daughter? Its amazing how big and bold we are as a society when we hide behind a computer

Patti
Patti

Jason - you are so right in your response, but people are just not willing to believe that could be the case. 

People read an article that is not filled with all the facts or details and make assumptions about a person based on those few things. Not everyone is as portrayed in these articles -good or bad. 

It is a horrible situation for both families.  I pray they all find their way through this horrible nightmare.

Rachel
Rachel

Why is it that when an 18 year old boy dates a 16 year old girl nobody thinks twice, but when it's the opposite it's "wrong" or "creepy"? I think that the age of the daughter has little to do with the fact that her mother was murdered!

Stacy
Stacy

First of all, the girlfriend was 18 and he was 16 ?  Uhm, am I the only one that sees something wrong here? .. Especially in light of the fact that girls mature faster than boys.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...