Garland Teens Wait To Hear Charges

A Garland man is still in the hospital, his wife is dead and a girl widely reported to be their 12-year-old daughter is still in jail, waiting to see what the charges are going to be.   The girl and her 13-year-old boyfriend were both arrested Tuesday, about an hour after Darlene Nevil was found dead in her home.  Her husband Alan was also shot and remains in stable condition. Garland police are not confirming the girl’s relationship to the victims, saying that would indirectly reveal her identity which is against their policies in juvenile cases.  But neighbors all say that the 12-year-old is the couple’s daughter.   The teenagers will have to be tried as juveniles because they’re too young, under Texas law, to be certified as adults.  However, even if convicted as juveniles, they could still spend most of their lives locked up.  From the Dallas County Juvenile Department, Randy Wadley says Texas has a provision called “determinate sentencing” that, under some circumstances, can keep juvenile offenders behind bars for up to 40 years.  District attorneys can consider many factors in deciding whether to seek “determinate sentencing” including the violent nature of a crime.

  • davidwr

    Determinate sentencing is a good thing, it should be used for most juvenile cases instead of bumping things up to adult court.

    You get basically the same time behind bars but for the first few years you get rehabilitation services and when you get out it’s easier to have your record sealed so you can start over. Rehab and giving you a chance to start over is the intent of the juvenile justice system in the first place.

    By the way, the moral centers of the brain don’t usually reach full adult maturity until the early or mid 20s. Why do you think the drinking age is 21 and for centuries the voting age was 21? It’s not arbitrary, it’s based on the reality that 20 year olds aren’t as “adult” as 25 year olds.

  • davidwr

    Note – “basically the same time behind bars” applies if you don’t get discharged early which can happen. It does not apply to murder or stacked sentences, as there is a 40-year maximum for those.

  • David Yocum

    I’d say too bad they can’t be tried as adults and lock them away for life!

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