Second teen in crime spree could face adult charges
A 15-year-old boy allegedly connected to a violent crime spree last week is the focus of an important court hearing Thursday.
Investigators believe the teen was driving a stolen car used in the murder of one man, the attempted murder of a man walking a dog and a police chase. Prosecutors want this 15-year-old tried as an adult.
The 15-year-old is the second suspect in the crime spree. His 17-year-old accused accomplice, Sirquain Burr, was already waived to adult court and faces murder, attempted murder, auto theft and other charges for the Feb. 13 crime spree that spanned two counties.
The judge ordered the 15-year-old to remain in custody at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center for his own safety as well as for public safety. The 15-year-old will go back to court March 7th for another hearing.
Prosecutors say the 15-year-old and Sirquain Burr terrorized the city, stealing cars, committing robberies and even shooting two of their victims, killing one of them.
The teen's father attended his detention hearing Thursday, where prosecutors are trying to get the case waived to adult court so he can face the same murder and robbery charges as Burr. That decision will come after a hearing and possible psychological evaluation requested by his attorney.
Judge Marilyn Moores discussed the decision to turn teenagers over to adult court.
"Even kids who have done some really terrible things can get better. It does not mean they will, but we have to balance the need for public safety and the need to rehabilitate that child. Sometimes the need for public safety wins out over the ability to rehabilitate that child," said Judge Moores.
Eyewitness News does not identify juveniles unless they face adult charges.
The 15-year-old, along with Burr, are accused of a day-long crime spree that included the murder of 38-year-old John Yingling, who was sitting in his truck in his own driveway when police say the pair ambushed him.
The 15-year-old was already on house arrest when he was allegedly involved in the murder and other crimes. In fact, he was wearing a monitoring anklet at the time. Court documents show the 15-year-old told investigators Burr fired the shot that killed Yingling as they robbed him.
Prosecutors feel the younger teen will likely be charged as an adult, since he faces the same felony charges as Burr.
"The charges brought against the 15-year-old will be the same as the charges for the 17-year-old," said Denise Robinson, Marion Co Deputy Prosecutor, who said the state will be seeking a waiver to adult court "based upon the seriousness of the crimes."