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14 Year Old Girl Charged in Murder Robbery

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By Jason Beahm on August 26, 2010 10:13 AM

A tragic series of events has a 14 year-old girl being charged, as an adult, with first degree murder and her 18 year-old brother charged as an accomplice. Artessha Holt allegedly shot and killed Jose Rodolfo Gonzalez-Coreas. Police allege that she confronted Gonzalez-Coreas and another man which led to the murder robbery. One of the victims laughed at her due to her youthful appearance, "Because of the age of the suspect the victims began to laugh at which time the suspect fired one shot grazing the victim Wilmer Bonilla's head and striking Jose Coreas in the center of his forehead," according to the charging documents.

Holt's brother, Shawn Palmer, allegedly helped Holt escape from the neighborhood after the shooting and took possession of the murder weapon as Holt fled, The Baltimore Sun reports. The gun was a silver .32 caliber revolver. Palmer was later arrested for a handgun violation after showing the gun to people in the neighborhood and being seen by police carrying the bag with the gun in it.

Judge Theodore B. Oshrine granted prosecutors' request to hold Artessha Holt without bail for the alleged murder robbery. She has been called a "flight risk and danger to the citizens of Baltimore," The Baltimore Sun reports. Holt has no offenses on her adult record but has faced multiple juvenile charges in the past. Her attorney, Gil S. Amaral, contends that Holt may have been acting in self-defense."

Under certain circumstances, juveniles cases can be transferred to adult court. There are three ways this can happen: judicial waiver, statutory exclusion and concurrent jurisdiction. Under judicial waiver, a juvenile court judge transfers a case from juvenile to adult court to deny the protections of juvenile court. In most states, the youngest offender who can be waived to adult court is a 16 or 17 year-old, though in some states the age is as low as 13.

Under statutory exclusion, 28 states have specific provisions in the law that exclude some crimes from juvenile court, such as first-degree murder. Under concurrent jurisdiction, some states allow the prosecutor to file a juvenile case in juvenile and adult court. However, if the juvenile is adjudicated in juvenile court, they cannot then be tried in adult court as it would violate the Fifth Amendment's prohibition against double jeopardy.

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