13-year-old denied murder count dismissal

Nov. 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A defense motion to dismiss a murder charge against a Jacksonville, Fla., 13-year-old was denied, setting the stage for a March trial.

Christian Fernandez remains in custody, accused of first-degree murder in the March 2011 death of his 2-year-old half-brother, David Galarraga, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Duval County, Fla., Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper's decision Tuesday rejected a defense argument that determining a sentence for Fernandez, if he is convicted, is impossible under Florida law after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June sentencing juveniles to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without parole is an example of cruel and unusual punishment proscribed by the U.S. Constitution, the newspaper said.

The defense argued Fernandez would be denied his rights under the Constitution's due process clause, and said it was unable to determine how to proceed because they were unclear of the potential punishment.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Duma approves construction of $4 billion bridge to Crimea
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seeking new trial for Boston Marathon bombing
Shark bites Camp Lejeune Marine on North Carolina coast
Russian business magnate Alishar Usamanov makes bid to buy CTC
Widow of SKorea President Kim Dae-jung confirmed to visit Pyongyang