Slain Tucson teen’s mom sues his shooter

2012-10-02T13:15:00Z Slain Tucson teen’s mom sues his shooterKim Smith, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The mother of a Tucson teen who was shot and killed on Mount Lemmon has filed a lawsuit against a woman who was acquitted in his death last fall.

Marisela Romero was behaving negligently when she pulled the trigger of a handgun and shot Rene Carrillo, 18, in the head, according to a lawsuit filed last month in Pima County Superior Court,.

Rosemary Leon is seeking unspecified damages for loss of love, affection, companionship, pain, grief, sorry, anguish, stress, shock and mental suffering. She also hopes to be reimbursed for the cost of her son’s funeral and burial.

On Sept. 10, 2010, Carrillo went camping with friends on Mount Lemmon, with people bringing food, drinks and at least three guns.

Romero and another of the partygoers went to bed in a tent, but Carrillo and others wanted the pair to continue partying, according to a Pima County prosecutor and Romero’s defense attorney. Members of the group threw rocks at the tent and repeatedly cajoled them to come back to the campfire, which they did.

Carrillo and others teased Romero and the boy so much that Romero became testy and said, “If I had a gun, I would shoot you,” the attorneys said. Carrillo got a gun, gave it to Romero and sat down across a campfire from her on a log. Moments later, a shot rang out and Carrillo was fatally wounded.

The group called 911 and one of the campers angrily told Romero to leave. She did, and was later found by a deputy walking down a road with a blanket draped around her.

During Romero's police interview she tearfully described what happened and insisted it was an accident.

Someone repeatedly fired an empty air pistol in Romero’s face earlier that night, and she merely felt the air rushing past her, Defense attorney Chris Kimminau told jurors.

In addition, Kimminau said Romero and the owner of the gun both thought the hammer had to be pulled back for the gun to discharge. Neither realized the gun could discharge merely by pulling the trigger.

A jury acquitted Romero, who is now 20, of negligent homicide after deliberating less than two hours.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com

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