A 14-year-old boy was charged and sentenced as an adult for the Colorado murder of his mother and step-father, according to The Valley Courier. The boy, who was reported to have been repeatedly abused and neglected by his mother, shot and killed his mother, and then his step-father on October 26, 2009, with firearms owned by his step-father. The boy was represented by public defenders in the complicated two-year court case, which prompted criticisms concerning the failure of the child welfare system, and the justice system.
The boy, who expressed remorse in a public statement, explained that his actions against his mother were the result of repressed anger after years of abuse by her hands. He shot her twice and then hid in the laundry room. He shot and killed his step-father out of fear of what he would do to him once he discovered that he killed his mother. A psychologist who evaluated the boy stated that it was the worst case of abuse he had ever seen. Even after years of abuse and repeated calls to social services, the child welfare system failed to help him.
Even with the evidence of abuse and the lack of action by the Colorado child welfare system, which, if it had done its job, may have prevented this incident from occurring, the boy was charged as an adult and offered plea bargain which he accepted. According to the plea agreement, he plead guilty to one count of reckless manslaughter, one count of murder in the second degree, and one count of crime of violence, which was added as a sentence enhancer. This established a sentence of 22 years for killing his stepfather, concurrently including 6 years for killing his mother, and 5 years of parole. The plea agreement also stipulated that the boy could not carry out any of his sentence in the Youthful Offender System (YOS), a fact that instigated criticism from his defense team as well as the public.
When a juvenile is charged with an adult felony crime in Colorado, it can become a very complicated situation, especially when child abuse is involved. There are countless considerations to make and investigations to conduct. With the guidance of a skilled Colorado juvenile crime lawyer, the child or teen can be sure that they are treated fairly, that any and all psychological and emotional factors will be heavily considered, and that they will receive an appropriate sentence.
If you or a loved one is a juvenile being charged with a crime in Colorado, the knowledgeable Colorado Springs juvenile crime defense attorney, Timothy Bussey, of The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can help you build a strong defense. Contact Mr. Bussey today at 719-475-2555 so that he may answer all of your questions.