Will 12-year-old Florida boy be sentenced to life?

   on June 06 2011 7:04 AM

A juvenile act of family violence that culminated in the death of a 2-year-old child from broken skull is likely to record a new chapter in jurisprudence history, with prosecutors intent on considering the accused, a 12-year-old, as an adult.

Cristian Fernandez, a 12-year-old boy from Jacksonville, Florida, punched his younger brother to death. In normal course he would be put to trial as a juvenile defender, in which case he will be freed by the time he is in early 20s. However prosecutors say Fernandez has had a history of violence and that there was a need to protect the public from him.

If he is convicted of the murder as an adult defender, he would be jailed for life. It's one where you go, at what point do you step in, so you prevent another murder, and that's how we felt in this case, said State Attorney Angela Corey. If we don't intervene now and do the tough thing. We have to protect the public from this young man.

According to an arrest report, Fernandez is said to have beaten up the toddler brother at their home in Jacksonville, Florida, in March. The boy, who had been put to Fernandez' charge when their mother was out, had suffered from a fractured skull that caused bleeding on the brain, and died two days after being admitted to hospital.

According to reports, Fernandez had a history of violence. He had beaten up the young boy previously and had broken the toddler's leg.

Fernandez is the youngest person in Florida to ever be charged as an adult with first degree murder. The charges carry a mandatory life sentence, according to a Daily Mail report. Life imprisonment is mandatory in such cases.

The fact that we indicted a 12-year-old in and of itself is a stunning event and a sad event in our prosecutorial lives that we had to do this, but it is the only legal mechanism that we can use to protect the community from this particular defendant at this point, the prosecutor said.

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