Archive for Friday, August 5, 2005

Robbery suspect deemed a juvenile

August 5, 2005

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A judge on Thursday turned down prosecutors' request to try a juvenile suspect as an adult in the armed robbery of a pizza shop.

Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office tried to file adult charges against Topeka resident Trevejon Killings, 17, who's charged in the May 9 robbery of Wheat State Pizza, 711 W. 23rd St. But Judge Stephen Six sided with the teen's attorney, who argued his client would have more opportunities for education and rehabilitation if he stayed in the juvenile system.

"We're disappointed that the court failed to find that a 17-year-old using a firearm in a robbery should not be held accountable as an adult," Branson said.

But defense attorney Craig Stancliffe said if his client were to go to prison, he would come out more dangerous than he is today.

"I have a serious difficulty understanding why there would ever be a desire to put this kid in El Dorado or Lansing - or, as I call it, criminal college," Stancliffe said.

Since taken into custody in May, Killings has been a model inmate at the county's juvenile detention center, Stancliffe said. He said the boy could be supervised by the state's juvenile justice system for about five more years if he was found guilty in juvenile court.

Killings faces charges including aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.

Two co-defendants, David P. Wigfall, 20, and Johnnie L. McCall, 21, both of Topeka, entered pleas last month to reduced charges and are awaiting sentencing. A fourth man was arrested, but charges were later dropped.

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