Most people in Georgia can likely recall when a suspected attempted robbery ended in the death of a young toddler. One of the two boys involved in the incident was only 15 at the time and was also the last to be charged. Although he initially faced felony charges, it appears that a careful articulated plea deal with the prosecution in addition to his full cooperation with the authorities has altered the outcome.
The shooting occurred in 2013 and involved both the defendant as well as a 17-year-old teen. After having met earlier that day, the older of the pair suggested that they find someone to rob. However, the older teen later produced a gun and shot at a mother who was pushing a stroller. While the mother survived, her 13-month-old toddler was fatally wounded.
According to those involved in the case, the young teen was little more than a witness to the shooting. He claims that he had no prior knowledge of the gun nor was he aware that any type of violence would be involved. Furthermore, authorities acknowledged the enormous helping hand that he had in helping sort out the details of what actually occurred.
Originally, it was argued that the defendant’s case should have been handled in the Georgia juvenile court system, but instead, the prosecution agreed that any consequences from a conviction would result in him being freed from jail. Additionally, the felony charges for murder were also dropped, and he instead pleaded guilty on the charges of attempting an armed robbery. This plea deal allowed the young teen to be placed on house arrest in lieu of more jail time, where he has spent the last two years. Although he will be monitored with GPS technology, he will be permitted to attend church, school and work responsibilities with permission.
Source: news4jax.com, “Teen accomplice in killing of toddler makes plea”, April 1, 2015