UPDATE: Indiana teen charged with murder for brother's death

Andrew Conley (Source Indiana State Police)
Andrew Conley (Source Indiana State Police)
Conner Conley
Conner Conley

Reported by Brad Underwood – bio | email
Posted by Amber Jenkins - email

RISING SUN, IN (FOX19) - A teenager will now face murder charges as an adult for the death of his 10-year-old brother.

Andrew Conley appeared in court Friday afternoon and entered a "not guilty" plea.  The courtroom was packed with the teenagers friends.  Most of the family was at the services for younger brother Conner.

The judge ordered that Andrew be held without bond.  His trial date has been set for January 22nd, 2010.

Andrew could get a maximum of 80 years if convicted.

Prosecutors have charged Andrew Conley, 17, with Murder for the death of his younger brother, Conner Conley, 10.

Police say the boys were wrestling when the situation turned deadly.

"Andrew Conley choked his little brother until he became unconscious and then dragged him into the kitchen and strangled him until he was certain he was dead," said Dearborn/Ohio County prosecutor Aaron Negangard. "He then placed a plastic bag over his head and secured it with electrical tape. He then dragged the body throughout the house and into the trunk of his car. He then drove the body to the Rising Sun City Park and dumped the body in a wooded area."

Conner's body was found Sunday night covered in vegetation in the woods near Ohio County Elementary and Middle School, where he was a fifth grader.

Police say before Andrew dumped Conner's body at the park, he stopped at his girlfriend's house and gave her a promise ring. Andrew's girlfriend was interviewed and told police that he gave her a promise ring. She says it was the happiest she has ever seen her boyfriend.

Police say Andrew showed no remorse and little empathy for his actions during his interview. When police asked the teen why he did it, he told them, "Like I had to... like when people have something like they are hungry and there is a hamburger sitting there and they knew they had to have it."

Andrew also told police that Conner's last words were, "Andrew, stop."

When Andrew and Conner's parents woke up Sunday morning, Andrew was home, but Conner wasn't. Andrew told his parents that his brother was at their grandmother's house.

He told police that he has had thoughts of killing people since the 8th grade and that he watches the television show 'Dexter' often. 'Dexter' is a fictional show about a serial killer. Andrew told police he feels like that character.

Police say Andrew admitted the crime to two friends and drove them to the woods to see the body, but it was not there, either because police had already picked it up or because he drove them to the wrong spot.

Investigators say Andrew's parents pulled him out of school a few weeks ago because of self-destructive behavior.

Coroners say that Conner died from manual strangulation and his death has been ruled a homicide.

Indiana court allows 16- and 17-year-olds who face murder charges to be tried as adults. Andrew's parents are supportive of their son being tried as an adult.

Andrew was transferred from the Dearborn County Detention Center to the Switzerland County Jail on Thursday. He will be in court on Friday at 3:30 p.m. for arraignment.

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