Defense seeks juvenile court for teen accused of killing man - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Defense seeks juvenile court for teen accused of killing man

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The defense of a teenager accused of killing a Sioux Falls man wants his trial moved to juvenile court.

Trevor Kruthoff was 17 when he was charged with murdering Jordan Lebeau, 20, in front of his father.

Investigators say Kruthoff and his friend, Brian Anderson, went to Lebeau's home last December. Police say they planned on stealing $100,000 they had heard was in the house.

Kruthoff's mother, Melissa Kruthoff, was the first to testify Thursday morning.

She spoke about Kruthoff's childhood, saying he was an easy-going, fun kid until he became friends with Brian Anderson his sophomore year at Watertown High School.

Melissa Kruthoff also talked about how she felt the day she received a phone call saying her son may have played a role in a murder in Sioux Falls.

When asked by the prosecution whether there was a part of her son she didn't know, Melissa said "I'm a parent. I don't know what else to say."

It's all on video -- Kruthoff admitted to pulling the trigger of the gun that killed Lebeau. 

A 30-minute long video confession was shown in court. In the video, DCI questions the then 17-year-old's whereabouts of the day before -- when Lebeau was killed. Kruthoff's mother Melissa was there while he was questioned.

Kruthoff says he went to Burger King and Walmart and lost his phone while there.

The officer then tells the teenager his cell phone was found in Sioux Falls at the scene of the crime. That's when Kruthoff asks for a lawyer.

The officer leaves the room and Kruthoff tells his mom, 'Brian said shoot him and I just pulled the trigger.'
Three months after Lebeau was killed, Mark Fraedo with Reclaiming Youth International, met with Kruthoff several times. He says Kruthoff felt pressured by Brian Anderson who he looked up to and thought of as a friend. He didn't want to let him down.
"A lot of regret in that wishing he had acted on what he thought were sort of the second guesses that he was having while that was happening and that he was sort of swept along in this process with his friend in not wanting to let him down but wishing that he could have been strong enough to say more," said Fraedo.

Fraedo says Kruthoff's rehabilitation is likely because he comes from a loving family with the resources to get him help.

For Lebeau's family present at court though, this doesn't change the fact that he is no longer with them.
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