A Piedmont Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court Judge has ruled that a 15-year-old high school student, who wreaked havoc on campus when he strolled into the office with what is believed to be an explosive device, will be tried as an adult.
According to an Associated Press news report posted on the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s website, the judge reportedly sent the case from juvenile court to superior court based on testimony he heard during a closed hearing on Monday. Prosecutors argued that the student, identified only as “Andrew” because he is a minor, should be tried as an adult because he was old enough to know that he was putting the lives of fellow students in danger by bringing such a device to school, the news report said.
Jefferson Police Chief Joseph Wirthman told the judge that he would make the recommendation that the teenager be tried as an adult because “he made an adult decision.” The teen reportedly walked into Jackson Comprehensive High School’s administrative offices on April 11 and told school officials that he had a bomb.
Officials who tested the device later discovered that it was powerful enough to kill or seriously injure everyone in that office. The boy, who gave in after an hour-long conversation with police, now faces aggravated assault, possession of a destructive device as well as terrorist threat charges. According to the report, he continues to be held at the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center.
The definition of “juvenile” tends to change from state to state. In the state of Georgia, the juvenile courts usually have jurisdiction of inmates 16 years and under. But as in most cases, it is up to the judge to decide who should be tried as a juvenile and who should be tried as an adult.
This is where a good Georgia juvenile criminal defense attorney can make all the difference. If your child has been arrested on suspicion of a serious crime, he or she could face a long prison term if tried and convicted as an adult. They could end up spending the best years of their life in prison. Don’t let this happen to your child!