A man has recently had new charges pressed against him more than a decade after a previous alleged attack on a young boy. Although he was never convicted of attacking the boy, one Texas man is now charged with murder after the now-deceased victim gave a new statement to authorities shortly before his death. However, prosecution may be difficult as he appeals the transfer of his case and felony charge from juvenile to adult court.
Back in 1998, a Texas teenager purportedly threw gasoline on an 8-year-old and set the boy on fire. The 13-year-old was arrested and sent to juvenile detention for the attack that left the young boy horribly burned. He was later released when there didn’t appear to be sufficient evidence to continue the case against him. As time passed, the burn victim developed skin cancer related to his attack, and confessed an important piece of evidence to authorities.
The victim alleged that his attacker had sexually assault him only weeks before he was attacked. With new evidence, the case was reopened. After the victim’s death from cancer, prosecutors charged the alleged attacker with murder, and asked that his case be moved from juvenile to adult court. A judge granted the transition despite protests that a felony offense had to be committed by someone who was at least 14 years old at the time, which he was not. It was argued that since the victim did not die until 2011, then the change that later lowered the age to only 10 applied to this case.
Some concern has been voiced over whether or not there is any validity to the victim’s most current statements as well as those made by witnesses who claim that the man on trial admitted to the attack. Additionally, the supposed attacker and his defense are attempting to have the case thrown out of adult court as the initial attack occurred before the change in the law. Some experts agree that, in this case, pursuing a felony charge may be extremely difficult and that it is likely that the transfer to adult court could be overturned.
Source: kiiitv.com, Judge: Texas man can be tried in childhood crime, Juan A. Lozano, March 6, 2014