Five-Year-Old Fatally Stabs Twin Brother

They Were Fighting, “As Siblings Sometimes Do”

William Spivey
3 min readNov 17

By Raul Carabeo — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

On November 15, 2023, in Scotts Valley, CA, twin five-year-old boys got into a fight. One grabbed a small kitchen knife and stabbed the other in the neck. The stabbed boy died at the hospital despite lifesaving efforts by deputies, emergency personnel, and hospital staff.

The incident took place around 4:00 p.m. on a Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, the case had been investigated and resolved, with no charges being filed and an announcement that no identifying information would be released.

Of course, this is a tragic situation. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, not only for the loss of a young child but the ongoing concern for the remaining child who will always carry this memory. What do you do with a five-year-old that has killed someone?

When the District Attorney’s office announced no charges, they said:

“California law dictates that age, criminal intent, and knowledge of wrongfulness are factors needed to charge a child with a crime, no indication of negligence or criminal activity by those involved.”

A statement from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said:

“When deputies arrived, they learned that two 5-year-old twins were fighting, as siblings sometimes do,”

There seemed to have been a concerted effort to wrap this case up as quickly as possible and go back to life as usual. How, in a single day, was a determination made there was no negligence or criminal activity? Is stabbing your brother in the neck with a knife really the kind of thing siblings do?

This is the kind of situation where my mother would have said, “I hope they weren’t Black.” The Black population of Scotts Valley is statistically zero, with the white population approximately 80%. Was this a case where the investigation was closed so quickly because the family was treated favorably or because officials didn’t care? We may never know as the police and District Attorney are through talking about it.

William Spivey

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