COLLIN COUNTY (CBS 11 News) – Was it a tragic accident or a cold-blooded crime? That is the choice a Collin County judge will now have to make before a North Texas teenager stands trial for the shooting death of a classmate.
Inside the McKinney courthouse on Tuesday, a hearing was held as to whether the juvenile should be tried as an adult.
All sides have presented their cases, now the judge will hand down his decision as to how the teenager will be tried. The decision could play a major role in whether the accused killer gets probation or 40 years in prison.
The family of Nayum Martinez left the Collin County courthouse showing their support for the dead 15-year-old on the “Team Nayum” t-shirts they wore.
But as the group left the courthouse they were left still waiting for answers.
The accused killer is a now 15-year-old Wylie East High School student who prosecutors say shot Martinez in the head and then tried to hide the body in a nearby storm drain. At the time of the offense the suspect was 14-years-old.
Several criteria must be met to certify the juvenile as an adult; including if the person would be a threat to the welfare of the community, the sophistication and maturity level of the person, and finally the likelihood of rehabilitation for the individual.
On the final day of the hearing, prosecutors argued that the teenager’s efforts to cover up the crime inside a Wylie home exhibited adult behavior.
Prosecutor Linda Drain said, “This kid is a liar, a manipulator and has no empathy. He has no morals.”
Meanwhile defense attorneys said the sloppy effort to hide the body outside the house showed a lack of maturity by the defendant, who claims the shooting was an accident.
“There’s no evidence of motive to kill his best friend,” said Defense Attorney Matthew Goeller. “The risk assessment goes from moderate to low if you remove the crime of which he’s accused.”
Prosecutors are hoping the judge will consider testimony from a former teacher, who once worried the accused boy’s fascination with guns would turn him into a serial killer.
The juvenile suspect also reportedly told a psychologist that while in custody he has heard voices that want him to assault other inmates.