Teen Charged In Accidental Shooting Of Friend
Police say that one teenager accidentally shot another while in the back seat of a moving vehicle. The teen is not being charged as an adult (at least not yet), so their name has not been released. According to police, the gun went off when it was mishandled by the teen. Police said the teens were both in possession of stolen weapons at the time.
To their credit, the teens immediately called the police and attempted to get the victim to the hospital. However, they were involved in a crash on the way there. The teens exited the vehicle and ran to the hospital, but the gunshot victim later died.
Police said the teens were cooperative with police, confessed to everything, and expressed remorse. This is why they are not facing charges as adults. However, we can guess what would have happened if they did not act so compassionately. It isn’t good.
Analyzing the possible charges
We must reiterate that, in this case, the teens’ conduct was compassionate. Had they tried to ditch the victim, they would all be facing felony murder charges. Felony murder is charged during the commission of any of a number of felony offenses. If someone dies during the commission of certain classes of felonies, a defendant can be charged with their murder even if they did not intend to kill the victim. In this case, that was a real possibility and the teens could have faced life sentences as a result. However, their first instinct was to get their friend help and because of that, they are being charged as juveniles and not adults.
Nonetheless, the teen and his friends are facing serious charges. The teen who mishandled the weapon is facing charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child. They are also facing weapons charges and evidence tampering charges for getting rid of the weapons while en route to the hospital.
Nonetheless, facing juvenile charges for these crimes is a lot better than facing adult charges.
Analyzing juvenile prosecutions
If a juvenile is convicted of first-degree or felony murder, Florida statutes allow only life sentences. However, federal law makes it illegal for courts to sentence juveniles to life sentences no matter how heinous their crimes are. In one case, a 13-year-old boy raped his 5-year-old brother and killed his 2-year-old brother. While anyone who commits such heinous acts should generally be “dead to rights”, the fact that this boy is only 13 has significantly complicated his prosecution. Nonetheless, he is facing adult charges, for the time being as prosecutors want to put him away forever. They will not, however, be allowed to do so. This gives them the option of either filing lesser charges (such as second-degree murder or manslaughter), but not much else. Meanwhile, Florida is still trying to figure out a good way to deal with juvenile homicide.
Talk to a Port St. Lucie Juvenile Crimes Attorney Today
Eighmie Law Firm represents the interests of juveniles charged with crimes in both criminal and juvenile court. Call our Port St. Lucie criminal attorneys today to schedule an appointment and we can discuss your options for resolving the matter.