I-64 teen stays in juvenile court
The 16-year-old Crozet boy accused of being with Slade Woodson, 19, in the March 27 shooting spree that shut down Interstate 64 will be tried in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Judge Susan Whitlock today denied a request by the commonwealth to move the case to Albemarle Circuit Court.
"The issue is the seriousness of the offenses," said Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Darby Lowe, in arguing for the transfer. She noted the "willful manner" of the rampage, the property damage, injuries and the fact that firearms were used. Five occupied vehicles were shot and two people sustained minor injuries. The teen faces 15 charges.
"He's a kid," argued defense attorney Dana Slater, pictured left. "He's made some very bad decisions," but she pointed out that he had no previous criminal record.
Judge Whitlock also denied a defense motion that the transfer hearing be closed, except for matters pertaining to the youth's psychological and school records. "The commonwealth recognizes the public interest in this case," said Lowe in requesting the hearing remain open to the public.
The case will be heard May 7, and Slater waived a bail or bond hearing for the boy, whose mother sat beside him during the hearing. She left with a handful of supporters.
"The court considered all information and made the appropriate decision," said Slater afterward. "Just because a person is charged doesn't mean they're guilty," she added.