Teen arrested for father's death

The Giacona home in Vernon / file photo

A 13-year-old in Oneida County is charged with murdering his father. Prosecutors say Joseph Giacona III shot his father in the head last January as his dad slept. Giacona III is being charged as an adult. Prosecutors say the teen has denied any involvement in his father's death.

37-year-old Joseph Giacona Junior was killed in January at his Vernon home. His son, according to police, was the only one home at the time and called 911. Prosecutors won't talk about a motive for the crime. They say that during the course of the investigation they found no indication of a struggle or any forced entry to the home on North Sconondoa Street in Vernon. According to prosecutors, the gun that was used to shoot Giacona Jr. was found in a locked gun cabinet in the house.

On Thursday, Giacona III was arraigned in Oneida County Court on a second degree murder charge. He pled not guilty. According to court documents on January 24, 2008, the day of the shooting, police interviewed Giacona III. During the interview Joseph was asked if he had moved the gun that his father had been shot with.

"No, I didn't see any gun," Giacona III replied.

Joseph was asked if had used of handled any of the shotguns in the gun cabinet."I'm not allowed to touch the guns and I haven't since we hunted in the fall," Giacona III replied.

Police then asked Giacona III if he was sure, because the guns would all be checked for fingerprints and he replied: "I found the .410 shotgun on the floor on the otherside of the dog gate by the gun cabinet| I picked it up and went over to the gun cabinet and put it back inside where it belonged. I got the key for the cabinet... I unlocked it and put the gun back inside.

Giacona III told police he didn't go near his dad because he didn't want to get messy. Giacona III could face life in prison if convicted.

"First of all he's taken no responsibility for this situation," says Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Hameline. "It's an extremely aggravated situation. a 13-year-old killing his father, shooting him in the head with a shotgun. We also looked at the possible sentencing structures, what would happen to him if he went to family court."

At the time of the shooting, Giacona III was a 7th grade student in the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill School District. This year he is in the 8th grade in the Whitesboro School District. Police say both districts were informed of the investigation. Giacona III is being held without bail at a juvenile detention center.