Who should be held accountable in this child's death?
The 12 year old brother?
Neither - it was an accident?
Should the boy be tried as an adult?
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/19...#ixzz1bG5T3vDnIn the Florida courtroom, the first-degree murder defendant is dwarfed by the cops who surround him. In the interrogation room, he can barely sit still or stay awake.
This defendant is 12 years old and, if convicted, could spend the rest of his life in prison.
His name is Cristian Fernandez, and he is the youngest person to be charged with murder as an adult in Jacksonville's history.
“Yes, I have compassion for Cristian Fernandez, but it's not my job to forgive,” State Attorney Angela Corey said. “It's my job to follow the law."
Police say the crime was premeditated, that Fernandez intentionally killed his 2-year-old brother, David, by violently shoving him into a bookshelf twice, causing a skull fracture and massive internal bleeding.
The medical examiner ruled David’s death a homicide, caused by blunt-force trauma. Their mother, Biannela Susana, was not home at the time of the incident. Police say as David lay on his bed unconscious, his older brother called their mother, who then came home.
What happened next is very much at issue.
Susana, 25, is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and felony child abuse. She remains in jail on a $1 million bond and, if convicted, faces up to 30 years in prison.
Police say they have a confession from Cristian, but the case still has sparked international outrage. More than 170,000 people have signed an online petition urging the prosecutor to treat the 12-year-old as a juvenile, not as an adult. The prosecutor disagrees and says she is following Florida law.
The Sunshine State sends more juveniles into the adult prison population than any other state. In 2009, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 393 Florida juveniles entered adult prison. Florida was followed by Connecticut with 332 such cases, North Carolina with 215, New York with 190, Arizona with 157 and Texas with 156.
“He’s just a kid,” said Alicia Torres, whose son was a classmate of Cristian's. She signed the petition, too. "He's got a baby face. ... He doesn't know -- he doesn't know what's going on."
Complicating the Fernandez case is the role of Susana. Police say during the several-hour window between when she came home and drove David to the hospital, her laptop shows that she searched “when some (sic) gets knocked out” at 10:54 a.m. “When your unconscious for hours” at 2:15 p.m. At 2:38 p.m., “concussions on children.”
Then there were online searches for a Wachovia Bank account. At 2:39 p.m., the search was for “mayoclinic.com.” After that, according to the police report, someone downloaded music, searched popular screen savers, went to YouTube and then finally “St. Luke’s Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida” at 3:07 p.m.
A doctor at St. Luke’s told a police officer that had the toddler been treated sooner, he may have survived.
Cristian Fernandez’s public defenders argue all of the blame belongs with the mother, and Fernandez does not deserve to be prosecuted in the adult system.
"I think many would argue that she's the most culpable when it comes to the death of this child," Matt Shirk said.
In light of a plea deal that may spare this 140-pound murder defendant from the adult system, Fernandez will next be in court Oct. 31. His trial date has not yet been set.
The mother is scheduled to stand trial starting Feb. 27.
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I think both should be held accountable. The 12 yr old should be tried as a juvenile and the charges on against the mother, I feel, are appropriate. Even if there is intent to push involved, I doubt they can prove intent to murder on only two pushes despite them saying they got a confession. Impulse is the last thing that matures (if ever), sometimes as late as 21 years of age. As for the mother, who waits as long as she did to bring an unconscious kid to the hospital? That alone is unfathomable.
DD Twins: 8/4/09 @ 35 Wks - No NICU, woot!
The mom carries the blame. She waited far too long to get help. Who sits around for hours when your baby is unconscious??
The 12 year old should be tried as a juvenile. He has confessed to pushing his brother and his actions following were appropriate, he knew there was a problem and called his mom.
Juvenile for the child and the mother should get a hell of a lot more time than 30 years. Who the heck leaves a kid unconscious for hours? Who the heck leaves a 12 year old alone with a two year old for hours? The 12 year old never had a chance of becoming a responsible adult with a parent like that.
Did I read that correctly that the mom is 25? She was 13 when this young defendant was born?
Wow! They really failed this child. The 12 YO should have known better than to shove his brother into the bookshelf. However, where does his culpability end? I know that when a victim dies from the injuries, the charge is bumped up to murder/homicide. But what happens when it's due to lack of seeking or receiving treatment?
The 12 YO should be tried as a juvenile. The mom should be charged with whatever they can.
The 12YO should be tried as a juvenile, at that age he knows that pushing a young child is wrong. He most likely did not think he was going to kill his brother, so I disagree it was premeditated. The Mother should be charged with whatever they can get away wtih. Nobody in their right mind leaves a little 2YO to die while googling different scenarios. Sick lady.
What a horrible story.
Firstly, the 12 yo should be tried as a juvenile. I don't believe for one second that the thought of murder went through his mind...
As for the mother, her sentence is right. Why was the 12yo left with the 2yo in the first place? Why the hell was someone searching the childs conditioned and why the hell when she found the 2yo unconscious did she not get him straight to hospital??!!!
Urgh, it boils my blood.
Me - Kristi, 29
DD - Leia, July 5 2008
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Definitely should be charged as a juvenile based strictly on my gut/internal reactions. I would be interested in knowing how they determine which kids should or should not be charged as an adult. What are the determining factors?
The mother definitely should be charged. Calling for help when your child is unconscious seems pretty basic. If she was scared or panicked....she still has to do something.
Ok, i will say, to all of you saying "Why did she leave a 2 year old with a 12 year old"
I would do it. I babysat for other people's kids when i was that age. And I would definitely consider leaving a 2 year old with Emma in a couple of years.
Of course you need to take into consideration the maturity of the child at that age...but i don't believe a blanket statement on 12 year olds is valid. And legally its fine in many(most?) states to do so. I've noticed that none of the charges in this case have to do with the fact that she did, at least it doesn't seem to be. But yes, i know ultimately its not about law but people's personal opinion on leaving a 12 year old with younger children.