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Colorado murder: child victim, teen suspect

The recent murder of 10-year-old Colorado girl Jessica Ridgeway has moved not just people in the state. It's moved the nation. Violent crimes involving children have a tendency of striking the most sensitive nerve among the public. And now not only is a child the victim in this case, but even the murder suspect is a child.

Various news sources reported today that the juvenile suspect has been officially arrested in this case. He is a 17-year-old who reportedly lives with his mother near where the victim lived. He is going to be charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and also the attempted kidnapping of another woman from a past incident.

Ridgeway went missing in early October, and her body was found several days later. Authorities have kept much of the details regarding the crime, their investigation and their apprehension of the teen suspect under wraps. Currently, the suspect is in the custody of a juvenile detention center. He will appear in court later this month to face his charges.

In following this case, it will be interesting to see whether the teen defendant will be charged as an adult or juvenile. He is right on the cusp of legal adulthood and therefore is at higher risk than other teens to be tried as an adult. That would likely mean harsher sentencing should he be convicted of the serious crimes before him. Prosecutors tend to push for trying teens as adults when the crimes they're accused of involve extreme violence.

When there is a new development in this Colorado case, we will post an update.

Source: ABC News, "Student, 17, Arrested in Jessica Ridgeway Murder," Christina NG and Clayton Sandell, Oct. 24, 2012

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