A 16-year-old boy from Washington is up against a number of challenges, both legally and personally. Law enforcement officials have charged the teen with for premeditated murder. Rather than handling the charges in juvenile court, the teen is currently being treated as an adult by prosecutors.
Reports indicate that they boy has been accused of killing his long-time guardian, a 37-year-old woman. Police claim that the boy admitted fault in relation to the incident.
While under the care of his guardian, the teen has dealt with mental health issues for quite some time. About four years ago, the boy was admitted to a hospital and was diagnosed with homicidal ideation. Clearly, this has been a lengthy, difficult struggle.
Based on the nature of the incident and the boy's age, law enforcement officials have maintained that they will be pursuing him as an adult. As a result of this, the teen could be sentenced to nearly three decades behind bars if he's convicted on the felony charges. According to the Daily Herald, the boy's defense attorney will be attempting to move the case to juvenile court, which could better suit the challenges involved with this set of charges.
In his first court appearance, the 16 year old pled not guilty. Certainly, mental health will become a major point of discussion during trial. As such, it will be important to examine his mental state and decision-making abilities as it relates to criminal intent.
There's no doubting that this is a difficult case, which is why it will require a certain amount of sensitivity to be handled fairly. More than anything, it will be vital to consider the totality of circumstances working in the background of these violent crime accusations.
Source: HeraldNet.com, "Everett boy, 16, pleads not guilty to killing guardian," Diana Hefley, Feb. 13, 2014