This photo shows a 14-year-old US boy charged with murdering his father
Photos of a shackled boy in a courtroom have been shared hundreds of times on Facebook alongside claims that they show a 13-year-old who hacked into a Swiss bank and transferred billions of dollars to his dad’s account. However, the claims are false; the child in the pictures was charged at the age of 14 for murdering his father in 2009.
The photos were posted to Facebook on July 10, 2020, and show a boy in shackles, wearing a yellow prison uniform and surrounded by officers in a courtroom.
“13-year-old hacks a Swiss bank and transfers $73 billon to his father’s account. This is the righteous offspring,” reads the caption, translated from Arabic.
The images were posted with similar claims on Facebook here, here and here.
However, the claim is false. A reverse image search led to an article from June 12, 2009, published on the website of US broadcasting network CBS.
“14-year-old charged with killing father sparks a protest movement,” the headline reads.
The accompanying photo shows US teenager Zachary Neagle during his appearance in court on May 20, 2009, where he stood accused of murdering his father Jason Neagle, who was found dead in their home in Caldwell, Idaho.
According to the report, 14-year-old Neagle was charged with first degree murder and tried as an adult, sparking a protest by activists who argued that he ought to stand trial as a minor. Neagle’s defence argued that years of sexual abuse had led to the killing.
Another reverse image search led to this photo on the Associated Press website, taken by Mike Vogt, also on May 20, 2009 at the child’s first court hearing.
These AP pictures were the same ones used in the false Facebook posts.
Neagle was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter, according to a report on Idaho News, published on March 5, 2018.
He was released on probation after serving five years in the Nampa Juvenile Corrections Center.