In a hearing to determine if a teenage boy accused of attempted murder for shooting his parents will be tried as an adult, two expert witnesses offered defense testimony to recommend the youth be treated rather than sentenced to adult prison. The Columbia Basin Herald reports on the story of the Moses Lake, a Washington teen who, after being grounded from playing video games and using electronic devices, used the family’s .22 caliber pistol to shoot his parents.
Two defense expert witnesses testified that the teenager was not best served by being tried as an adult and sentenced to time in adult prison. Citing concerns that the boy would not receive the treatment he needed for psychological problems and that he would adopt the behavior of his fellow inmates, the defense team’s two psychological expert witnesses claim that the consequences of trying the boy as an adult could be detrimental both to him and to society as a whole.
The prosecutor called its own psychology expert witness to testify that the teenager did not demonstrate enough signs of depression to warrant a medical diagnosis, leading the prosecution to argue that society is best protected if the boy is tried as an adult and rehabilitated in a prison environment. The ruling is expected sometime next week, giving the judge time to consider both arguments and all the available expert witness testimony.