Pierre teen accused of murder will be tried as an adult
Courtesy: KCCR Radio
Once again, a judge has ruled that a Pierre juvenile should stand trial as an adult in the shooting death of a 16-year-old friend.
And once again, his decision might be appealed.
Judge John Brown ruled after a one-hour hearing Tuesday afternoon that Braiden McCahren should be tried as an adult, rejecting a defense request that the 17-year-old youth be transferred to juvenile court.
After the hearing, the defense attorneys said they may appeal that ruling to the state Supreme Court. At the same time, the two sides have set a tentative trial date of June 2-13.
McCahren, 17, has pleaded not guilty in the December 18, 2012 shooting death of 16-year-old Dalton Williams. McCahren was 16 at the time of the shooting, which took place in his home. A third juvenile male, also 16, witnessed the shooting.
This was the second such transfer hearing in this case. In September, Judge John Brown ruled that McCahren be tried as an adult. But the defense appealed to the state Supreme Court. The main argument was that Rapid City psychologist Kari Scovel, during an examination of the defendant, had violated McCahren's constitutional rights by asking specific questions about the shooting and his role in it.
The Supreme Court agreed. The justices ordered Brown to hold another transfer hearing on whether McCahren be tried as an adult or juvenile, but without using Scovel's testimony.
During the hearing Tuesday, the defense argued that the prosecution had no case without Scovel's testimony. But Brown, in rendering his decision, said, "The defense may have misconstrued the reliance the court had placed on Dr. Scovel's testimony."
In this ruling, as he did in September, Brown said McCahren's history of aggressive and violent behavior warranted the case being tried in adult court. Brown called such actions "reckless, impulsive and violent."
Brown said it is also important to have the case heard in adult court because of community interest and the desire to make sure there is justice for both sides.
McCahren was in the courtroom for the hearing. He is under house arrest and being supervised by his grandparents who live in Vermillion.