Judge to decide if accused arsonist is charged as an adult or juvenille

By KBJR News 1

Judge to decide if accused arsonist is charged as an adult or juvenille

June 12, 2014 Updated Jun 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM CDT

Walker, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Beltrami county attorney wants to try a seventeen year old accused arsonist who turns eighteen next month as an adult.

The teen appeared in court this week for a probable cause hearing where the county attorney supplied paperwork supporting the argument to try the juvenile as an adult. However, the defense wants him to be tried as a juvenile.

The court ordered that a certification study be completed by probation. The Cass Lake teenager is charged with felony wildfire arson in a blaze that burned more than 70 acres on May 28th.

Police say after questioning, the boy admitted to intentionally starting the fire, saying he did it because mosquitos were bothering him.

The boy will be held in detention until his next court date which is set for July 8th, where the probation agent will come back with their recommendation as to whether the juvenile meets the criteria to be charged as an adult.

The judge then has several options: leave the case in the juvenile system, certify the defendant as an adult, or extend juvenile jurisdiction – meaning the defendant receives a juvenile disposition and an adult sentence while staying in the juvenile system, as long as they don't violate probation conditions usually until they are 21–years–old.

Or the parties can negotiate an agreement resolution/compromise.

Ramona Marozas