Thursday, September 18, 2003

Teen's conviction in death reversed


Cousin, 8, beaten while he babysat

By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The conviction of a 15-year-old boy in the beating death of his 8-year-old cousin was reversed and Hamilton County authorities were working to determine Wednesday if the teen will be retried.

The First District Court of Appeals reversed the teen's conviction in the killing of Takeya Bryant, sayinga judge used information that was not admitted into evidence, which was used to find the boy competent to stand trial.

Hamilton County prosecutors are determining whether to ask the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn the appeal or go forward with a new trial.

"It's a technical issue, but it's important," said Hamilton County public defender Terry Weber, who represented the teen in the Aug. 15, 2001, beating death of Bryant.

Weber has always contended the boy, who was 14 at the time of his conviction, was incompetent to stand trial: "Not from the day he came in court to the day he was sent away."

The teen, who is not being identified because he was charged as a juvenile, was babysitting Takeya and her three siblings. He told police he'd tried to break up a fight between Takeya and her 11-year-old brother, but may have struck her several times in the process.

The 11-year-old was convicted in his sister's death. He spent the last two years in a group home in Indiana and will soon be placed with a foster family, Weber said. At the time of his conviction he was too young to be sentenced to Ohio's Department of Youth Services.

During the trial, Hamilton County Juvenile Judge Sylvia Hendon first found the teen incompetent to stand trial and sent him to get a mental health evaluation in Louisville. Psychiatrists there found him mentally competent.

Hendon convicted the teen of murder, sending him to the Department of Youth Services until age 21. He remains there now, Weber said, but most likely will return to the Hamilton County Juvenile Justice Center in the case of a retrial.

E-mail scoolidge@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Fifth accused priest identified
Forged money traced to MU
St. X scores with 28 merit semifinalists
Man found dead in SUV in pond

IN THE TRISTATE
Police find pot stash after watching sales on street
Candidate forum focuses on safety, neighborhoods
His task: Help city develop
Ethics training part of new plan
Calling all teachers
I-75 talk all about high cost
Ohio's Innocence Project takes first cases
Open season in Delhi Township trustee race
Teen's conviction in death reversed
Regional Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Pulfer: Top ratings for a different kind of radio program
Howard: Good Things Happening

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Miami U. students start taxi service
Kids rise early to pray
W. Nile sickens local woman
Jury trial will delay custody decision
Lebanon levy renewal for buildings
Family Violence Unit formed

OBITUARIES
Music legend 'Dumpy' Rice, 64
Kentucky obituaries

OHIO
Potential nerve-gas handler pays EPA fine
Deal near on Ohio drug discount plan
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Florence step closer to its own ballpark
Kenton County to roll out hot line
Politicians woo seniors at annual picnic
Rural counties tout growth
2 mothers fined for truancy
Kentucky News Briefs