Juvenile with violent history could be tried as adult in Washington County
There’s a debate in Washington County on whether to try a teenager as an adult.
A 16-year-old was charged earlier this year with fleeing an officer and carrying a gun in Washington County.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office sought to have the juvenile tried as an adult because he has had a lengthy violent criminal history since he was 13 years old.
But, Washington County Judge Sheridan Hawley denied that petition and the WCAO has filed an appeal of Judge Hawley’s decision.
One man, whose identity KSTP decided to protect, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that his wife was carjacked at gunpoint by the same juvenile in 2021.
“And so it’s been a challenge. Every time something pops up, you know, it brings back some of the emotions,” said the man. “You know, an individual that has such a lengthy record, of not just like small crimes, but really bad crimes.”
University of St. Thomas legal expert Rachel Moran told KSTP the ruling indicates the judge is not comfortable with the state’s case to try the juvenile as an adult.
“The judge is saying ‘I am not willing to send this 16-year-old to prison yet,’” said Moran. “’I want a different court, Hennepin County where most of these kids’ cases are happening, to make that decision. Not me.'”
When asked if she thought the judge had followed the law, Moran responded, “I think the judge probably knows they didn’t follow the law very closely.”
The Court of Appeals could take several months before it rules on the case.