Sunday, December 11, 2011

12-Year-Old Faces Life in Florida Prison

A 12-year-old boy could spend life in prison when he is tried as an adult for the murder of his two-year-old brother, reported the Huffington Post.

Christian Fernandez is the youngest person ever to be charged with first-degree murder in the city of Jacksonville. Prosecutors say the pre-teen "acted with premeditation" when he allegedly shoved his two-year-old brother into a bookshelf, leaving the boy with a fractured skull and internal bleeding to the brain, reported CBS News.

"Yes, I have compassion for Cristian Fernandez , but it's not my job to forgive, it's my job to follow the law," prosecutor Angela Corey recently told Fox News.

Prosecution offered a plea that would have freed Fernandez on his twenty-first birthday. Defense attorneys did not accept, however, on the basis that Fernandez would be forced to admit murder and likely serve the final three years of his sentence in an adult prison, according to the Florida Times-Union.

This case is similar to the Pennsylvania case of Jordan Brown. The 11-year-old Lawrence County boy allegedly shot his father’s pregnant girlfriend as she slept. He then left with this younger sister and caught the bus for school.

Brown was charged as an adult. A judge refused to transfer the case from adult court to juvenile court. The decision was based on Brown’s refusal to accept responsibility for the murder. After an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court the case was remanded back to the trial court. The same judge who refused to transfer the case to juvenile court, changed his mind and sent Brown’s case to the juvenile court.

If Brown was convicted as an adult he would have been the youngest person in the United States ever sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole.  Brown is awaiting a juvenile adjudication hearing.

Fernandez's mother, 25-year-old Biannela Susana, also faces aggravated manslaughter and culpable negligence charges relating to the incident. Prosecutors say Biannela, who gave birth to Fernandez when she was 12-years-old, first informed cops that her younger son injured himself in a fall.

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