John Caudle is just 14-years-old, a wee boy who looks like the ubiquitous kid next door. And like any kid, he didn’t like doing his chores. But this little boy decided to take his rebellion to the Old Testament stage…
Tracy and Joanne Rinebarger were murdered by their own son because he didn’t want to take out the garbage anymore
As he would later confess, he was arguing with his mother, Joanne Rinebarger, over not wanting to take out the trash or clean his room. But instead of sucking it up, he retrieved his stepdad’s .22 pistols and shot her in a bedroom of their Monte Vista, Colorado home.
He then hid in a laundry room waiting for stepfather Tracy Rinebarger to come home. The 14-year-old ambushed him as Tracy walked past his hiding place, shooting and killing him as well. With his parents’ dead bodies nearby, Caudle spent the rest of the day watching movies and playing.
He drove stepdad’s truck to school the next morning. Teachers and friends reported him being as happy as he ever was. When classes ended, he set out for his uncle’s house, where he figured he’d live. But he was pulled over by police in Fairplay, Colorado, some three hours away.
The kid didn’t have a driver’s license, but the arresting officer couldn’t reach his parents. So he asked Rio Grande County deputies to find them. They already had. Caudle’s grandfather had discovered the bodies. Police were already at the scene.
Prosecutors are currently wrestling with whether to charge the kid as an adult. A double-homicide would indeed seem worthy of serious time, but if you take a gander at the kid’s photo, this isn’t a boy who’ll survive an adult prison — perhaps not even juvenile jail.
A judge should decide to today if he’ll remain in lockup as he awaits trial.