Days after he'd been grounded, the 15-year-old accused of killing his father and stepmother ambushed them as part of his plan to run away to Mexico, prosecutors said in court Thursday.
The teen's lawyer said he'd been abused for years.
Prosecutors said he had decided to leave the family's southwest Mecklenburg home but felt he wouldn't succeed - unless he killed his father.
He had a bag packed with toiletries, clothes and underwear, prosecutors alleged. Then he gathered guns and waited.
Details of the case surfaced Thursday afternoon as the baby-faced 15-year-old appeared in juvenile court for the first time, his eyes downcast for most of the hearing. He arrived in a white button-down shirt and black slacks and spoke only to recite his name.
His attorney, Valerie Pearce, told the court that the teen is a battered child who experienced physical abuse from the time he was an infant. His father, 43-year-old Christian Hans Liewald, controlled his every move, she said.
"He did want to run away to escape what he was living," she said. Pearce added that relatives also were afraid of his father and that the youth wasn't rescued by the systems set up to protect him.
Early Monday, the teen called 911, saying he had shot his father and stepmother, 24-year-old Cassie Meghan Buckaloo. He told police he'd wait for them at a nearby street corner.
When officers arrived at Liewald's home on Buxton Street, they found the couple dead.
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