East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Tuesday his office will ask one of the parish’s Juvenile Court judges to transfer to state District Court the case of a 14-year-old boy accused of first-degree murder in a Nov. 6 home-invasion slaying on Wyandotte Street.
Moore said his desire to try the boy as an adult is motivated solely by public safety.
His remarks came four days after a state appeals court in Baton Rouge reversed East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Court Judge Pamela Taylor Johnson and said the boy, identified in court documents only as D.B., is not entitled to bail.
Johnson, over the District Attorney’s Office’s objections, had set the boy’s bail at $75,000 in late December.
A three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ruled Friday that prosecutor Curtis Nelson Jr. showed “that the proof is evident and the presumption great that the juvenile is guilty of the capital offense.”
Moore said the Louisiana Children’s Code states that a child “charged with the commission of a delinquent act which would otherwise be deemed a capital offense … shall not be admitted to bail if the state shows that the proof is evident and the presumption great that the child is guilty of the capital offense.”
In documents filed at the 1st Circuit last month, Nelson argued that the juvenile’s DNA was found on a blue ski mask located near the crime scene. An eyewitness saw the suspects discarding their ski masks, he said.
“We think that this was significant for public safety to keep this 14-year-old detained until trial,” Moore said.
“It’s sad to have to make a request to try a 14-year-old as an adult,” he added.
The boy’s 20-year-old brother, Benjamin Bailey, 2630 Arbutus Ave., and a 21-year-old cousin, Juan Herbert, 3127 Pampas St., also are charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 6 shooting death of Derrick Marioneaux, 34.
Marioneaux was shot multiple times at about 6:30 p.m. at 3184 Wyandotte St., police have said.
He was shot after the suspects, who intended to rob him, kicked in his front door, according to arrest warrants filed in the case.
Herbert was accidently shot by the 14-year-old during the incident and taken to a hospital for treatment, the warrants say.
Because the boy is only 14, Moore said, prosecutors must ask the Juvenile Court to transfer his case to the 19th Judicial District Court.
“It’s totally in her discretion,” he said of Johnson.
The boy could be held only until his 21st birthday if he is convicted in Juvenile Court. If he is found guilty in state District Court of either first-degree murder or second-degree murder, he could be sentenced to life in prison. He is not eligible for the death penalty because of his age.