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Boy, 10, denies murder allegation in Burke County courtroom

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 7:02 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 1:43 PM
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. — The 10-year-old accused of killing his father’s girlfriend in her Midville home in December denied the allegation at an arraignment Tues­day in Burke County Juvenile Court.

The boy is charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, said his attorney, Pete Theodocion.

On Dec. 30, Burke County sheriff’s deputies found Jen­ni­fer Albright, 31, shot to death in her Fry Lane home.

Judge Willie Saunders asked the boy a series of questions Tuesday, including where he went to school and what his grades were.

He reminded the child’s parents, who are divorced, that they are also under the court’s jurisdiction, which means the court can impose conditions such as community service or counseling on them. They have the same rights as the boy, Saunders said, and can ask for representation. They are required to be present at court hearings.

“You are both necessary parts in these proceedings,” the judge said. “We can’t move forward without you.”

Saunders said the boy’s psychological reports have been completed and will be reviewed. Those records are sealed.

A status hearing was scheduled for late February. Saunders said he hopes to have a preliminary report by then.

After covering the next steps, Saunders asked the boy whether he had any questions.

“No, sir,” said the youngest person charged with murder that Theodocion said he has seen in his 15-year career.

The 10-year-old’s trial is set for April. Until then, he will remain in the Augusta Regional Youth Detention Center.

Under Georgia law, anyone younger than 13 cannot be prosecuted as an adult in Superior Court. If the boy is found guilty in Juvenile Court, he will be out on his 21st birthday at the latest, Theo­docion said.

After the arraignment, Theo­docion said he will question the admissibility of the boy’s statement to police at the time of the shooting. He said that officials went through all the necessary steps and a guardian was present but that he still believes the statement is inadmissible because the boy is so young.

“I don’t know whether that’s enough,” the defense attorney said. “I have a hard time believing a 10-year-old can grasp his constitutional rights.”

Calls to Assistant District Attor­ney Pittman Morris were not immediately returned.

The boy’s grandmother was quick to defend him: “He told me, ‘Nana, all I wanted was for her to hurt like she hurt me. She wasn’t supposed to die.’”

Albright’s family left the courtroom quickly and declined to comment.

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Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 01/24/12 - 09:02 pm
Pete would probably like for

Pete would probably like for Nana to remain silent.

reba530 01/24/12 - 10:20 pm
Well if the mom was not on

Well if the mom was not on drugs as the news stated she would have had custody of her son and the dads girlfriend would still be living.Thats whats wrong with a lot of these sorry parents they cant shake the booze and the drugs and raise the gift that God so blessed them with. This case is so sad because that little boy was probably crying out for his mothers attention And she was probably messed up somewhere. Shame Shame Shame on her

CABoatright 01/25/12 - 08:36 am
OK, the kid admits that he

OK, the kid admits that he killed the woman, & then "denies murder allegation?"
As for Nana, Pete can forget keeping the kids statement out of court...Nana is taking care of it for everybody.

hope7 01/25/12 - 10:51 am
I agree Willow. I watched

I agree Willow. I watched Nana on the news and was stunned at what appeared to be no remorse for the death of the woman/mother her grandson killed.

LemonJello 01/26/12 - 04:40 pm
What an awful case. I too

What an awful case. I too saw the reaction of Nana who seemed a little indifferent to the woman's death to me as well. I just wonder if the girlfriend mis-treated the kid in any way to make him do this. I don't even think a 10-year old can grasp the finality of death. I'm not defending him....I just have those questions. It seems that there may be a lot more to this story.

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