Twitter Reacts to the Dr. Phil Episode

Twitter is reacting to today’s airing of the Dr. Phil Show which features the Elkhart 4 and their conviction for felony murder.  Support is coming if for the boys from across the country. We have posted just a small sample of some of the supporting comments on Twitter.  If you would like to send your own message of support feel free to comment at the bottom of this page.

Updated January 17, 2014 — 6:00 pm

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32 comments

  • Im so angry they took away there child hood for doing something so. Stupid yet they didnt kill they broke in someones house but yet there doing there whole life in prison sad so sad poor boys that now have to be grown men….there life ni matter what will never be the same

  • how dare that prosecutor blame these boys for their friends death! Thats like saying a van full of people leaving the bar are responsable for the driver killing another motorist cause he was ovi!

  • Those boys are suffering enough without that prosecutor saying they killed their friend. Now I might agree if the three tied their friend up, forced him into that house and made him take the bullet. The boy died because HE CHOSE his own actions. Sadly his life was lost, but dont take away the other boys lives too

  • This is a yet another case of the law gone wrong. These kids made a mistake what kid hasn’t but to punish them and sentence them to prison for 50 years for murder is ridiculous. Let these kids come home they have been thru enough. I feel for the family of the kid that was killed and I so sympathise but they didnt kill him the homeowner did. Its just a very unfair sentence.

  • the owner is the on who murdered not the boys..the prisons are over crowded as it is. They should not have to do time for burglary…. set them free…if one of these boys were my son.. I’d curl up and die..

    • I’d curl up and die from the pain, of seeing my son locked up, the prosecutor is insane, so is the law.. this is not a typical felony.

    • Hi, although I agree that the boys should be charged with burglary, I can’t personally agree with your assessment of the home owner. In my opinion he is a victim of this entire situation. I can’t imagine what he went through waking up and realising there were boys in his house. Do I wish he had picked up his phone and not his gun, yes. Do I wish he had hidden in his closet until the police came, yes. But who am I to say how this man should act. I have never been in that situation and I hope never to be such a situation. This man will live the rest of his life with this on his mind and he did nothing to put himself in that situation. I hope daily as I work on this blog that he is able to find peace of mind and is able to enjoy his life. I hope he has a strong and supportive community around him. In my opinion he is a victim and he should be left alone to live his life. It is unfortunate that these boys have thrust him in the middle of this case and I hope he can find peace.

  • Bottom line, he would not be dead if it weren’t for the felony actions, burglary, so if you think the boys aren’t to blame, then who would you say is responsible? Someone died based on the choices the boys made, so they should pay the consequences. As for comments that the boys are suffering, they apparently were arrogant enough to think that they’d get away with it as they walked in the house with no regard for the suffering they would cause the homeowner in dealing with his burglarized home. They may not have thought that their friend would be killed, but hey, they also didn’t think they’d be caught either.

  • correction, on my part, the boys should do time for burglary, but NOT for murder… 50+ yrs, are you kidding me. I agree the home owner will be affected for the rest of his life, but the boys… young boys.. will not come out of prison, reformed.. yes, they made a stupid mistake, but it does not equal murder charges. I have heard of people committing murder and they were out in less the 20 yrs… in fact I was in a night club, and a man got shot, he died a week later.. within 7 yrs, the man he pulled the trigger was back on the streets. The justice system is not always fair. These boys.. will come hardened from the prison life. They should be reformed in some program, given probation, but this sentence does not fit the crime. I hope that they will be given a new trial, and that each person involved will find peace.

  • This comment has been removed for failing to follow the comment policy on this blog. Racist language will not be tolerated on this forum.

  • My heart goes out to all the moms.
    I can’t believe the sentence, unbelievable.
    My son is in similar situation here in Ca.
    He was 17, someone was murdered, my son was in the house with me at time of murder, he had a public defender, who never believed him. Lied to my son and me about her strategy. My son was a senior, 17. Never been in trouble, no gang shit, nothing. A illegal Mexican saw my boy outside earlier in the evening , he was among about ten other kids out front. It was Sept. 18, 2011, a hot evening

    • Kids coming and going all day. My son with 2 other kids were charged with Murder 1. The victim was a 28 yr old felony rapist, he was on parole. Our neighbor was the one who killed him later that nite, he was stabbed with a screwdriver. He admitted to the murder, as well as having the victims cell phone, and keys on him. No DNA or any kind of evidence on my son. Plus the Fact he was asleep on my couch at the time. He received 11 years for manslaughter.

      • His attorney said to take the deal, nobody, testified. Im trying to appeal this, but it takes money, and time. I’ve more time then money. He’s been incarcerated since Sept. 21st when they and got him. I’m sick with so much grief, he’s a really good kid who got railroaded because I couldn’t afford a good attorney. The system SUCKS!!!

  • I only caught the last few minutes of Dr.Phil today,it certainly caught my attention and my heart!The punishment DOES NOT fit the crime!

  • I do live in the State of Ind. I learned about the the the Elkhart 4 by watching the Dr.Phil Show.This is so, so, so crazy that the Prosecutor didn’t want a name for his self and his Team. You have people that have really killed by pulling the trigger and they have not recived that much time. And the jury shouldn’t have been rush into making a fast verdict in the first place!!! ” Even Sunny Hostin, the Lawyer on Dr. Phil Show says thouse boys shouldn’t have recived that much time. This is not just what they gave the Elkhart 4 ……

  • I hope these boys are cleared of murder charges. They didn’t meet legal criteria to be charged. They were kids. Imminent danger was the wrong!!!

  • My prayers are with all of you. I could not stop crying watching this on Dr. Phil. I do not think they should be in prison this long. I just can not imagine what all of you are going through. I am so so sorry for what y’all are going through. I truly hope that this sentence will be overturned.

  • It is absolutely horrific that these boys have been sentenced with 50 plus years in prison. Yes, they committed a terrible crime and made a bad decision to follow through with the burglary BUT they certainly were not looking to physically harm anyone. I am a firm believer in protecting your home with any means necessary. So Each of these boys took their OWN risk but they should not be held accountable for murder. They were looking for an empty home which proves they weren’t looking for a fight, they ran from the home owner which proves they weren’t looking for a fight. They are kids- they made a (horrible) mistake- but should they pay for that mistake for the rest of their lives??? The homeowner was protecting his home and he has that right and it’s sad that a young man lost his life because of it but that was a risk they all took. It’s incomprehensible that any jury saw it fit to charge these boys with felony murder. Where does common sense come in? Where does being a human being come in? Where is the justice? Because there was no justice in this case.

  • The law is quite clear in relation to their actions, felony murder is clearly explained, so these individuals are charged and convicted well within the parameters of the law. Another example of the stupidity, foolishness, and naivete of youth, and now they must accept the consequences of their actions. Who are their victims, all the jury members who will live with their decisions the remainder of their lives, the home owner who killed one young teenager, the parents, the parents of the dead boy, there are no winners here. Sure they are young and seem not to be troubled youth, however the home owner did not know that, he did not know they did not have weapons, he did not know they might not have been violent, and if you put yourself in his position you could well understand how he or you could fear for your life. They committed a felony, guilty as charged and everyone should remember and keep in mind that you are responsible for the decisions you make and the actions you undertake. As one district attorney stated, it is not the laws fault, not the home owners fault, not the parents fault, but their fault based on the decisions they made.Now having said all that I do believe the punishment is a little harsh and should be reduced a great deal but if this does not occur let this be a lesson for everyone in that you will be accountable for your decisions and actions, so think long and hard about what you are going to do before you do it. I did not find the boys very remorseful, sympathetic, apologetic,or empathetic to those they have affected. It was all about them…extremely immature to say the least….

    • Thanks for your comments. I agree that this is a huge tragedy and I agree that the punishments are too harsh. I also agree that the homeowner, the families and the jurors lives have been altered forever because of this case. Where we disagree is on the felony murder law being clear. On this site we have documented the fact that the Indiana law is not very clear. In fact a Indiana State representative has been quoted as saying an actual reading of the law would suggest that the law would not apply to these boys. This morning we posted an article about the Dr. Phil Show’s legal expert Sonny Hostin. We proved linking to actual case law that her statement that this was a typical felony murder case and it happens across the US is false. A recent West Virginia Supreme Court decision did an assessment of felony murder laws when a co-perpetrator is killed and found that in the majority of states it would not be possible to prosecute the others involved in the initial felony.

      • If the felony murder does not apply here I am sure it will be at least one reason that an appeal will be launched and my prediction is that all of these boys will be released before they spend even ten years in jail, however even a short amount of time will be a lesson they will never forget….I quite sure they are thinking long and hard about their actions while incarcerated….

      • I hope you are right about the appeal and I do agree that they need to think long and hard about their actions. If and when freedom become a possibility the boys and their families need to have a clear plan with a strong support system to make sure they lead a positive life rejecting criminality entirely.

    • Dr. Phil said the charge was to extreme… he’s the specialist and believes people should pay for their wrong doing, but certainly not 50 yrs.. they should not pay with their lives.
      I’m praying for you, for all the mothers, the boys and the rest of the family members. for all involved.. I’m hoping that some of the actors get involved like they have done for other cases.. I forget the group of boys that were recently released for murdering a little boy they were innocent and they had no dna, turned out it was the boys step father, and by the way, there actions during the trial did not seem remorseful either… that doesn’t prove anything, you can’t see there hearts.. there have been several cases, where the boys were wrongfully convicted and unfortunately did more time then they should have, but on the good side, were finally released. I can’t imagine the financial cost, that’s why I say I hope that some of the actors that have helped other cases will jump on this.. I believe people who’s comments are going along with the system, don’t have children, or don’t have sons., if they do… where’s your heart.. everyone else, can see this is a harsh sentence and it does not fit the crime.

    • Dr. Phil, a specialist.. even agreed that the penalty phase was over the top, he agreed it was a stupid thing that they did but does not believe that they should serve this amount of time… they need some special program to get them on the right track in life, instead of hardening them in the prison.. they will be worthless when they get out.. growing up in the tough prison system.. How insensitive to hear that they deserve to pay with their lives, I’m quite sure the man that killed the young man, would feel better to know that they were in a rehabilitation program, rather then spending their life in prison, the same for the jury.. instead of paying with their lives. They all have been thru enough.. the only thing these boys are guilty of, is a bad decision, choosing robbery, that’s why they don’t appear to be remorseful. They didn’t kill anyone, and this is a law that should be taken off of the books, find real criminals and put them away for life.

  • Charge for B&E and sentence accordingly. This isn’t about politics and who is running in the next election or how many notches it puts on your belt!

  • I was truly outraged when I saw this story on dr. Phil. I have never left a comment anywhere on the Internet but felt compelled to do so on this site after watching this show and seeing the great injustice that was done to these kids and their families. I personally feel that the 21 year old who was killed tragically was an adult who was contributing to the delinquency of the 4 other minor children involved. And therefore these kids should not have ever been charged with his murder. I saw the faces of these kids who did a stupid thing. They clearly had no clue there was imminent danger present or they would have ran out before bullets started flying. They are kids and should have been charged as such. Who are these prosecutors to say that they should have been charged as adults? They should all be in juvenile detention until they r adults like every other kid who commits a crime. This is truly sad. Our justice system sucks and My heart aches for these boys and their families. I hope these sentences can b appealed and I will keep the boys and their families in my prayers. So sorry for everyone’s loss in this situation.

  • This law needs to be changed. This is an atrocity that these boys are facing a lifetime in prison for a murder they didn’t commit.

  • This is the most outrageous example of injustice. Felony DUI convictions don’t bring this much sentence! Premeditated murderers don’t get this much jail time for first offense. Yes, the kids did something stupid. Yes, they should be held accountable. One of them paid with his life. I live in South Carolina. A group of 6 teenage boys broke into several houses in our neighborhood on a regular basis. The cops knew them. The parents kept bailing them out. NOT ONE of them went to jail!