According to Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens, the suspect was discharged from University Hospital in Birmingham late last week and is currently being held at a juvenile detention facility. The suspect will have a hearing in district court to determine if he is to be certified as an adult for trial purposes.
During a robbery at Jenkins’ Store, the suspect is accused of fatally shooting Earnest Jenkins, the store owner, who was 75. The suspect was shot by Jenkins during the robbery as well.
If the suspect is certified as an adult and is indicted by a grand jury, he will still have the right to apply for youthful offender status in Circuit Court.
If youthful offender status is granted, he would be tried only by a circuit judge (not a jury) in a closed proceeding. If convicted as a youthful offender, he would face a maximum sentence of three years in the state penitentiary, with his record sealed afterward.
If youthful offender status is not awarded, the suspect will likely be tried for capital murder committed during a robbery. If convicted, he would face life in prison without the possibility of parole. He would not be eligible for the death penalty due to his age.
Contact Chris Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.