Teen homicide suspect to be tried as adult

Aug. 21, 2008 at 12:46 PM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will be tried as an adult for allegedly killing a 14-year-old girl earlier this year, prosecutors say.

Despite his young age, Broward County prosecutor Maria Schneider said Jason Hartley will face life in prison for allegedly killing Neica Gibbs and attempting to hide her body from authorities, The Miami Herald said Thursday.

''It's a very difficult situation whenever you're dealing with a 15-year-old, but the circumstances and severity of the crime led us to charge him as an adult,'' Schneider said Wednesday. "The victim's family felt strongly that this was the way to go.''

Prosecutors do not suspect the June 28 homicide was premeditated, but rather an act of passion, given it allegedly occurred after the teenagers finished having sex.

Attorney George Reres, who is representing Hartley, told the Herald the adult charges against his client comes despite a lack of criminal history.

"It's rare that a 15-year-old with no contact with the criminal or judicial system whatsoever is charged with such a serious crime," Reres said.

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