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16-year-old charged as adult in Colorado Springs shooting

In Colorado, a person who is under the age of 18 is considered a juvenile and usually is treated differently from an adult if convicted of a crime.

However, some juvenile cases are removed from juvenile court to district court after certain factors are weighed. The factors include the juvenile's age, the type of the crime, the extent of the juvenile's record and the discretion of the prosecuting attorney. Overall, the chances of the juvenile's case being removed to regular district court increase as the juvenile's age increases and the severity of the crime increases.

This week in Colorado Springs, a 16-year-old boy was charged as an adult in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man that occurred on November 21 of last year following a house party on the west side of the city.

Prosecutors charged the 16-year-old with second-degree murder, attempted murder, two counts of menacing, one count of possession of a handgun by a juvenile and two counts of prohibited use of a weapon. The boy is currently being held without bond at Spring Creek Juvenile Detention Center in Colorado Springs.

The suspect is accused of fatally killing one 19-year-old man and attempting to kill another 19-year-old man during a fight that broke out after the November party. The surviving 19-year-old told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he and the deceased man were taunted as they left a party and heard someone yell that they were going to get a gun. He said the two began to run and as they did shots were fired at them.

Often times, incidents like these involving groups of people become battles of he said vs. she said. Especially when alcohol and loyal friends are involved, it can be hard to know if witness accounts should be trusted. The young suspect faces very serious charges in this case, so hopefully, he has an experienced attorney to advocate for his rights.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, "16-year-old charged as adult in fatal shooting," John C. Ensslin, 4/13/2011.

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