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Boxer Shot To Death Weeks Before Valentine’s Day Wedding; 12-year-old Boy Charged With Murder

Posted at 3:31 PM, Jan 27, 2019

Police say a 12-year-old boy has been charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a boxer at the victim’s South Texas home.

Uvalde police said Thursday that the boy is charged in the slaying of John Duane VanMeter and is being held at a juvenile detention center.

VanMeter’s fiancee called 911 Wednesday evening saying someone had broken into their home, and police found the man with a gunshot wound to the head. VanMeter was set to be married on Valentine’s Day, according to KSAT.

Police Chief Daniel Rodriquez says police are trying to determine a motive.

The Uvalde school district said the juvenile was a student there.

Under Texas law, children younger than 14 cannot be tried as adults for first-degree felonies so the suspect would be charged as a juvenile and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

VanMeter’s trainer, David Hernandez, who runs Tree City Boxing Club in Uvalde, described VanMeter as a man with a “heart of gold and an amazing spirit.” He was known as “The California Kid.”