Sunday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Boy in Fatal Stabbing Headed to Treatment, San Diego Union Tribune

A 12-year-old boy accused of fatally stabbing a playmate in East County last year was ordered Thursday to be released from Juvenile Hall and sent to a residential treatment facility until his mental competency is restored.

Juvenile Court Judge Cynthia Bashant determined in August that the boy was not competent to stand trial and suspended the criminal proceedings. The judge said the boy was not only immature but also suffered from mental health and developmental issues brought on by fetal alcohol syndrome.

The boy — who was 10 when 12-year-old Ryan Carter was killed — has remained held in Juvenile Hall while authorities wrestled over who would pay for housing and treatment at a potential cost of up to $160,000 a year.

In December, the boy’s attorney said a facility had been found where he would receive daily psychiatric and psychological care, and be seen by a social worker . . .

Lawyers said Thursday that an administrative law judge had ordered the county Office of Education to pay for the boy’s treatment, housing and education until he is 21, unless his mental competency is restored before then . . . 

Prosecutors charged the boy with murder and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the Jan. 16, 2012, stabbing outside the younger boy’s home.  Ryan, his parents’ only child, lived in an adjacent mobile home park.  Ryan’s parents have said the boys were playing together when the younger one grabbed a kitchen knife and threatened another playmate.  Ryan intervened and was stabbed in the chest.

WVU Fullback Alston Following an Unusual Path, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

West Virginia’s brawny running back [Shawne Alston] is not a much-hyped or highly touted first-round [NFL] pick . . . Come summer, he might or might not be in an NFL camp. He has a backup plan: law school.

From the streets of Hampton, Va., to the beginning of a career in football or law, Alston did what some of his friends were not lucky enough to do: survive, prosper, and learn to listen along the way. He already has been accepted into two graduate programs, and law school is penciled in after that . . . 

“I’m definitely going to graduate law school. It’s always been in the back of my head,” said Alston . . .  The realization did not come out of thin air. There was a day when fast money lit up the young man’s eyes. It got Alston nabbed for selling cocaine in the neighborhood of his youth and changed his life . . .

Alston said he served six days in juvenile detention that spring and spent nearly three months under house arrest before his case was dismissed later that summer after petitioning the courts and saying he was planning on switching schools to better his life.  

“I realized what I had done. It set in. No more football,” said Alston.  Around him, friends were going to jail, dying; some are currently in prison . . . His grandfather, who spent more than a dozen years in prison for a crime he never discussed with his grandson, taught him to read. “He used to sit me on his lap and make me read the newspaper every day,” said Alston . . .

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