Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Child Suspect With a Chilling Past.

Byline: Jeff Jones Journal Staff Writer

* Police reports chronicle years of family problems for 12-year-old charged with robbery

Jose Sullivan was 9 when his mother told the law he was smoking dope. Jose, in turn, told police she was selling and using drugs.

She told an investigator he'd swiped her car.

The police were told a lot of things about the Albuquerque boy's home over the years: about the drug dealing by mom, the bloody suicide and drive-by shooting that happened shortly after he'd left the home for a while, the time he cried that he never got to see his mother.

Sitting atop that thick stack of police reports is the latest story. Jose, police say, walked into a North Valley auto parts store in July with a 9mm handgun. The boy now 12 is accused of robbing the clerk of the keys to his custom Cadillac and then riding along as a teen-age accomplice led officers on a fast, fierce chase.

"This wasn't supposed to happen. We weren't supposed to get caught," the tall, heavyset child told one officer after the pearly white Coupe DeVille crashed.

Maria Brooks, an aunt who helped raise Jose at times, told the Journal she could see trouble coming long before the robbery at the Auto Zone this summer.

Brooks said her nephew hasn't received the best parenting, but added her sister did try to get Jose to a safe place with Brooks or Jose's grandmother whenever her situation got "out of control."

She remembers better times, when Jose liked to help her garden and cook, enjoyed eating her spaghetti and always wanted to go to the auto races. …

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