Wednesday, June 23, 2004

14 years old, 2 murder charges

Allegations against boy 'unbelievable, sad'

By Sharon Coolidge and Jane Prendergast
Enquirer staff writers

Cincinnati's youngest accused murderer this year now faces charges in a second killing.

The 14-year-old was charged Tuesday with the shooting death of George Vance, 27, in Over-the-Rhine on May 17 - four days after the other killing he insists he didn't commit.

The boy is scheduled to appear in juvenile court Friday for a hearing on whether he should be tried in adult court on the original charge, the killing of David Hutchinson, 20, near Findlay Market. He'll also be arraigned on the new charge on Friday. Both cases, prosecutors say, started as robberies - Hutchinson was robbed of money, Vance of drugs.

"It's unbelievable, it's a sad commentary on the state of our community," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen. "To be involved in two cases of this sort shows that (the boy) has no concern whatsoever for following the law."

Also Tuesday, detectives announced that they've arrested two other teenagers - both 16 - in the June 8 shooting death in South Cumminsville of Anthony Davis, 48. Davis managed to make it to a Llewellyn Avenue porch, where a resident called 911.

Those two arrests bring to five the number of juveniles charged in five Cincinnati homicides this year. . One of the five suspects, a 17-year-old, remains wanted.In Ohio, 16- and 17-year-olds who are charged with murder are automatically tried in adult court. It's up to a judge whether a 14-year-old or 15-year-old charged with murder is tried in the juvenile system or as an adult. Anyone younger remains in the juvenile criminal justice system.

Hutchinson's sister, LaShaunda Hutchinson, 25, said the system should make an example out of the 14-year-old.

When she heard the boy, whom she knows, was suspected of killing her brother, she called him on his cell phone. She said he admitted to both killings, saying, "Yeah, I had to do what I had to do."

The boy's lawyer, Hamilton County Assistant Public Defender Terry Weber, said he has not talked to his client about the new charge.

"We're ready on Friday to oppose the state's case," he said. "It's still his position that although he was in the vicinity, he had nothing to do with Hutchinson's homicide."


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