Judge Naman to Decide If Teen Suspects Will Be Charged As Adults

What happened the morning of June 27th has left a woman blind in one eye, and 6 teenagers now behind bars, charged with attempted murder, robbery and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

One suspect, 16 year old Isaiah Kelly, has already been charged as an adult. He’s now at Metro Jail. But the 5 other suspects, including the teen accused of shooting the woman in the face is at the Strickland Youth Center. All  them are 15 and younger.

On September 9th, the 5 face Judge Edmond Naman in court to hear if they’ll continue in Juvenile Court, or move on to Circuit Court.

Judge Naman will take into consideration their past history, and the safety of the public. Potentially not all may end up tried as adults.

“Each of them will be looked at individually We’ll look, first off all, is their probable cause to believe they committed the crime that they are charged with and then the second inquiry is whether they are amendable to treatment in the juvenile justice system,” said Judge Naman.

He says the goal of the juvenile court is to rehabilitate those that can be helped.

“They bring them in police hand them off to the intake personnel here at the Youth Center they’re stripped of their clothes they make sure they’re not carrying any weapons, no contraband whatsoever,” said Michael Dekle, Chief Probation Officer.

They then spend much of their time in a cell with exceptions made for classes and exercise.

“Definitely the initial environment they step into is going to make them feel that they’ve done something very bad, and that this is the shock they that might be in for if they continue down that road,” said Dekle.

Now if these teens get charged as adults they could face life in prison if convicted. As juveniles with the maximum sentence, they could get out after turning 21.

“They are alleged to do it, exactly what happened or who has done what and what role some of the others that are charged with we know that one person shot someone,” Judge Naman.

With so much attention on this case, Judge Naman points out — this incident is an aberration from the norm.

“All in all our juvenile crime rate is down specifically our violent crime rate is down, as much as 40 percent,” added Judge Naman.

He’s also quick to ensure that just because they’re young doesn’t mean they’ll get off easy.

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