Nolan Grove: 13-year-old charged as adult in shooting death of Kain Heiland, 12, before sleepover
YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: A 13-year-old boy from Pennsylvania was charged with murder as an adult for allegedly shooting and killing his 12-year-old friend on April 1. Nolan Grove has been charged with the murder of his friend, Kain Heiland, which took place just before a planned sleepover in early April.
In addition to the murder charge, Grove is also facing a felony charge of possessing a firearm without a license, as well as several misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm by a minor and recklessly endangering another person. According to police, Grove surrendered himself and was arraigned in Red Lion, York County. Officials are now searching for a secure juvenile facility where he can be detained.
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Timeline of events
According to a witness, Heiland, Grove, and another friend had spent the day at Grove's house and were planning to spend the night there. During the day, Grove had reportedly retrieved the gun used in the shooting from his home and was seen playing with it several times, including loading it, unloading it, and activating the laser sight. "Take your finger off the trigger," Heiland had said, according to court documents.
Police cited surveillance video showing Grove pointing the gun at Heiland, with the laser sight visible on the victim's torso. Later in the evening, the three boys spoke to two girls, with Grove allegedly telling the girls that he was not afraid to shoot someone and would do so if he could. At around 8:22 p.m., the three boys were walking through a neighbor's yard when Grove made a derogatory remark about Heiland's mother, telling him he thought she was "really hot".
Heiland then told Grove to shut up, which resulted in Heiland being shot in the back and ultimately dying. "I'm so sorry, K," Grove had said. Following the incident, the third friend fled to his home, with Grove reportedly following him. When the friend asked Grove why he had shot Heiland, he received no response.
After the shooting, the third friend informed his parents, who then contacted law enforcement. During a subsequent police interview, the third friend revealed that Grove had been making insulting remarks about Heiland's mother all day, despite Heiland's repeated attempts to silence him. When questioned by investigators, Grove reportedly lied, claiming he was in his bedroom when he heard the gunshot. Additionally, he had also changed his clothes and washed the blood off his hands.
'I wish we were in Texas so he could get the death penalty'
If a person is convicted of first-degree murder in Pennsylvania, they may face either life imprisonment or the death sentence. The penalty for second-degree murder is life imprisonment, and the penalty for third-degree murder is typically a prison sentence of up to 20 years, as is the penalty for voluntary manslaughter. At a news conference Friday morning, May 5, York County District Attorney David Sunday said, "A lot of cases take way longer than this, and when you make decisions of this magnitude, it has to be done thoroughly, in accordance with the law and the facts. We understand the gravity of our decision and we stand by it."
Linda Arvin, Kain’s maternal grandmother, said on Friday, "It's not a high enough charge. I wish we were in Texas so he could get the death penalty. He took Kain from us, and they should take him from his family," per the York Daily Record. "His parents will still get to see him. I'll never get to see Kain again," said Devin Rexroth, Kain's mother.
A GoFundMe was started for Heiland’s mother by a friend who wrote, "her son was spending the night at a friend’s house, and a nightmare happened." It has managed to raise $20,500 of the initial $20,000 goal.