Retired juvenile court judge offers insight to the legal case ag - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Retired juvenile court judge offers insight to the legal case against school shooter

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Marshall County High School shooter will likely be charged as an adult. 

Prosecutors plan to pursue murder and first degree assault charges against the unnamed 15-year-old male. 

WDRB knows the suspect's name, and the station has his picture. But we have not used them on the air.  At this point, the case against the teen is technically in juvenile court, which seals its cases to the public.

Retired Louisville Judge David Holton sat on the Juvenile Court bench for nearly a year before his retirement in September 2017.

He has a lot of experience in this area.  Louisville had 18 kids charged with murder last year, according to police. 

Holton says while Kentucky law requires the 15-year-old suspect from the school shooting charged as an adult -- it's not automatic. 

"Kentucky's automatic transfer statue requires if a child is at least 14 and used a gun in the commission of a felony then it's going to go to circuit court," he said. 

First there's a detention and a probable cause hearing in juvenile court where the state must show a crime occurred and the suspect's relation to it. 

Then the case can be waived up to circuit or adult court with a "youthful offender status," which means his name and picture become public record.
 
On Wednesday, the Assistant Marshall County attorney said both of those hearings in juvenile court had been scheduled for the next 48-hours  

Judge Holton said it's not unusual at this point for defense lawyers to try to slow the proceedings down. 

"His attorney would likely ask for a delay for certain purposes such as a competency hearing perhaps. At this point this child faces such severe consequences that a little time or a lot of time working on his defense is not uncommon," said Holton.

The prosecutor hoped to have all the juvenile court proceedings completed in time to present the case to the Marshall County grand jury for an indictment at its next meeting February 13th. 

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