Can you imagine becoming a target of a serious criminal charge and still
awaiting your fate regarding the charge five years later? A
New Jersey murder defendant was only a kid when the violent crime he's been accused
of occurred. Now, he is a 20-year-old man on the brink of learning his future.
The defendant and several others were charged with the murder of three
people. One young woman who was also part of the incident but survived
has served as a witness against the defendant. She reportedly was unable
to identify the defendant as someone who was present during the violent
crime that changed her life years ago.
Another point that works in favor of the murder defendant, according to
his criminal defense attorney, is no physical evidence exists that connects
the young man to the violence that occurred. He may have been at the location,
but it is not clear that he participated in the acts of violence. Plus,
another suspect who got a plea deal for testifying against the defendant
was supposedly angry at him for giving the police names of who was responsible
for the murders. His anger could have motivated him to lie about the defendant's
role in the incident.
This could be a case of the then teenager, the youngest of all the New
Jersey murder defendants, being at the wrong place at the wrong time with
the wrong people. The jury hearing this case sees the defendant's
age at the time as a valuable point. This week, they asked the judge if
they could consider age when coming to their verdict. The defendant is
being tried as an adult, which to some might seem quite harsh considering
how young 15 really is.
The judge told the jurors that they could let the defendant's age affect
their decision, though it should not be the basis for their decision.
As this trial continues, we will update you of new developments.
Source: The Star-Ledger, "Defendant's age is a question as jury deliberates Newark schoolyard
slay trial," Alexi Friedman, Nov. 8, 2012