What's next for 12-year-old suspect in Fowler murder?

5:40 AM, May 13, 2013   |    comments
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Leila Fowler

SACRAMENTO- Law enforcement officials put more than 2000 hours into the Leila Fowler murder investigation.

Now that investigators have zeroed in on the suspected killer, the next question is what happens to the 12-year-old brother in custody.

The 12-year-old suspect, who has not been named due to his status as a minor, is expected to be charged with homicide.

Legal Analyst Bill Portanova explains why the suspect may or may not be charged as an adult.

In California, a 12 year old, if convicted as a juvenile, would serve time only until he is 25 years old and then be released.

A person tried and sentenced for the same crime as an adult could be locked up for life.

"Juvenile law is different than adult criminal law because the goal of juvenile law is rehabilitation. The goal of adult law is punishment," said Bill Portanova, News10 Legal Analyst

"Some kids are just so bad so early that the prosecutor has a right to drag them into adult court even when they're very very young. But a judge has to make that decision."

For now, the boy will go to juvenile court for a hearing. The court will decide if there's any chance of rehabilitating him.

By Suzanne Phan, sphan@news10.net

Twitter: @suzannephan


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