Vengeance at Valencia Vintage
By: Robert Crain, writing for the Associated Press
VALENCIA, California—Police have today concluded their month-long investigation into the deaths of John and Grace Presser at Valencia Vintage by placing the victims’ six-year-old son Timmy under arrest, who will be held under custody of the San Fernando Valley Office of Child Protective Services as he awaits trial in Valencia County Courthouse next month. Police allege that Timmy gathered sesame seeds from the ground outside his house, and reached through an open window to deposit them into the bowls his parents would later be eating from; comments from the police indicate that even though they believe this to be the case, the question of whether or not Timmy was fully aware of the consequences of his actions is still very much in doubt.
The motive appears to be years of child abuse on the part of Timmy’s parents, John and Grace Presser. While the police have declined to provide any specific details, citing Timmy and his sister Samantha’s right to privacy, they stated in an earlier press conference that “physical…emotional…whatever you can imagine, it probably happened to them.”
While the investigation has repeatedly confirmed that the only people present at the time of death were John, Grace, Timmy, and Samantha, several figures in both the professional and public spheres have announced their belief in Timmy’s innocence. Psychologists connected to the case have debated whether or not Timmy has the cognitive maturity to plan such a crime, connecting cause and effect; if he did, they also wonder if he was fully aware of the severity of death when he placed the seeds in the bowl, or if he was acting purely on impulse.
With Timmy’s trial set for the first of July, the police have said they are thoroughly investigating every possibility within this case, and do not desire to see justice slighted: “If [Timmy] did it, then it was surely a product of his circumstances, and the court will undoubtedly treat him fairly,” said the chief when asked his opinion of the case. “If not, then I don’t want my department to be responsible for ruining this young man’s life. So I’m going to make sure that we do our part to see the law upheld.”
Members of the extended Presser family have asked that the trial be reserved from broadcast over television, but have permitted a limited number of reporters to attend.