Lawsuit Blames Parents for Teen Killing Another Child
The nation is still reeling over the notorious "affluenza" case, in which a judge ruled that a drunk teen who ran over and killed four people won't serve any jail time because his parents didn't teach him right from wrong. The wealthy parents are facing lawsuits from the victims' families.
Now, there's another tragic story in which the parents are also being blamed for the misdeed of their teenage son.
A beautiful 12-year-old girl was killed for her bicycle. Her teen killer is behind bars, but Autumn Pasquale's father is taking it a step further, suing the parents of her killer, claiming they were negligent in the way they raised their son. The killer's mom is rejecting that claim as preposterous.
Anita Saunders said, "No, I'm not responsible for her death. For me to be held accountable for what happened, that's pretty far-fetched!"
The victim's grandmother, Mary Pasquale actually taught reading comprehension to Justin Robinson at the school in Clayton, New Jersey. He was 15 when cops say he strangled Autumn, then stole her bicycle and threw her body into a recycling bin.
Mary Pasquale said, "He was my student at the time he horrendously murdered my granddaughter."
Robinson is serving a 17-year prison term after pleading guilty to manslaughter, but Autumn's loved ones insist his parents are also to blame.
Mary told INSIDE EDITION, "It's their fault that their son became a murderer. They never reprimanded him for the small things. Every time he got away with something, they empowered him to do something worse. They empowered him to become a murderer."
Anita Saunders listened stoically when INSIDE EDITION played her the accusation from Autumn's grandmother. But she denies any responsibility for her son's horrible crime.
Anita told INSIDE EDITION, "You do your best to train them to do what they should be doing, but you never know what kids are going to do."
Her lawyer, Stanley King, believes the lawsuit is totally unrealistic.
"Can you imagine what this country would look like if, every single time, a parent or loved one was held responsible for someone else's actions?" said the attorney.
No matter what happens next, a teenage boy is behind bars and a young girl is gone forever.
Autumn's father said, "I miss her. I miss everything about her."