A teenage boy in Texas has been charged with murder after allegedly stabbing his twin sister to death in her bedroom — but the boy claims he was sleeping when he reportedly committed the heinous crime.
What are the details?
Authorities in Harris County, Texas, said they found 17-year-old Benjamin Elliott in his sister Meghan's bedroom in the early morning hours on Wednesday, according to KTRK-TV. He was performing CPR, and Meghan had several stab wounds in her neck, deputies said.
The boy was arrested on murder charges but later claimed in court that he was unconscious at the time of the stabbing. Benjamin Elliott said he woke up between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. to discover he was in his sister's bedroom with a knife.
Upon seeing blood gushing from her neck, he recalled that he dialed 911 to alert authorities and pressed a pillow against the wounds in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
The 911 operator reportedly told Benjamin Elliott to perform CPR until medics arrived. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the boy was indeed performing CPR when deputies showed up. But unfortunately, Meghan Elliott was pronounced dead on the scene.
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The twins' parents were asleep when the stabbing occurred, but woke up after hearing Benjamin Elliot screaming for help.
"Seven minutes into the 911 call, the defendant calls out to his parents who are heard yelling and crying in the background," a prosecutor read in court, according to KPRC-TV.
In a statement released through their attorney, the Elliott family asked for privacy and insisted that their children were close friends and demonstrated no animosity towards each other.
"We are still gathering all of the facts and details of this tragedy," the statement read. "There is no question Benjamin loved his sister very much. They were extremely close and the best of friends. The family is asking for privacy as they process this heartbreaking event."
Benjamin Elliott has been charged with murder and his bond has been set at $100,000. The teenager is now undergoing mental health evaluations.
Prosecutors said in court Thursday that the defendant told investigators he has never suffered from any sleep disorders and had not taken any drugs or alcohol prior to the incident.
One neighbor, Robert Dawson, said he was unaware of any relational problems between the siblings.
"I was really shocked when this thing went down," Dawson told KTRK. He added that he routinely saw the Elliott twins go to and from school on the bus and said they appeared to get along well.
"I hope [the sleep walking] is true because it's bad enough they lose their daughter. If they lost their son to a long jail term, that would be just devastating," he added.