Sleepwalking Teen Who Killed Sibling: Adult or Juvenile Charges?
A judge in Colorado Springs is taking this weekend to decide whether a 13 year old, who fatally shot his brother and stabbed and shot his mother (she survived) should be tried as a teen or adult.
Experts testified the boy was sleep-walking and in a trance at the time, unaware of what he was doing. He had no prior history of misconduct. His parents are pleading with the court to have him tried as a juvenile. The prosecutors want him tried as an adult for second-degree murder.
Daniel Gudino is accused of shooting his 9-year-old brother, Ulysses Jr., to death and shooting and stabbing his mother, Marina, on May 18, 2009, in the family’s home at 1837 Chapel Hills Drive.
Marina Gudino told 4th Judicial District Judge David L. Shakes that her son should not be punished for their failure to recognize the seriousness of his symptoms. Doctors testified during the week that the boy suffered from sleep disorders, hallucinations and possibly a developing mental illness.
The judge has heard 40 hours of testimony on the issue. Of course he should be tried as a juvenile. It's why we have a juvenile justice system. This case also shows why it is critical there be independent and neutral judicial oversight of these charging decisions, and that prosecutors not be allowed to make the final call on their own.
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