New bill would treat juveniles as adults for shooting at officers
MARIETTA, Ga. - Hardened criminals, that’s what Marietta police called two teenagers who shot and severely injured one of their officers in August. Prosecutors wanted to try the teens as adults, but a judge denied their request. Now, a state lawmaker with the backing of Marietta P.D. wants to change the law that let that happen.
Five months and five surgeries later, Officer Scott Davis is back to full duty with the Marietta Police Department.
According to police, Davis responded to a call about a car break-in in August when a suspect opened fire, hitting him twice. Officers said his gun blocked what likely would have been a fatal bullet.
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Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds wanted to try the two suspects in that case as adults in superior court, but a judge denied his request. Now, Reynolds supports a push to change that.
“The bottom line is it would add to a short list of crimes, very serious crimes, that if committed by a juvenile would at least start in superior court, doesn’t mean it would end up there, but it would start there,” said Reynolds.
A state lawmaker from Marietta has drafted legislation that would add aggravated assault with a firearm to the list of crimes that automatically land a juvenile suspect in superior court.
The Marietta Police Department supports the bill wholeheartedly, writing in a statement to FOX 5 News:
“A juvenile who has shot a police officer and is only given counseling and/or probation, usually multiple times, is highly likely to return to shoot at more officers.”
Reynolds said while it is important to treat juvenile offenders as juveniles in many cases shooting someone is not one of them.
“We’re not talking about a nuance in the law. We’re talking about taking a gun, pointing it at another human being and committing an aggravated assault and I would dare say that the vast majority of individuals, regardless if they're 13, 14, 15 or 16 know that is a very serious crime,” said Reynolds.
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