DA undecided on trying 14-year-old as an adult in capital murder case

Teen previously detained on unrelated aggravated robbery charge

SAN ANTONIO – District Attorney Joe Gonzales said his office is unsure if prosecutors will attempt to have a 14-year-old boy accused of capital murder to be certified as an adult.

The teen is accused of shooting and killing Janette Quiroz, 37, and Quiroz's pregnant daughter, Bernadett Quiroz, in the 100 block Emerald Ash on April 9.

Family said Bernadett's daughter was delivered by an emergency c-section and later died.

The teen suspect had been detained for several weeks at the juvenile detention center on an unrelated aggravated robbery case before investigators filed the capital murder warrant, according to police.

At the detainment hearing, Judge Arcelia Trevino ruled in prosecutors' favor for detaining the teen, saying he may be a danger to the community and possibly a flight risk.

Speaking to reporters following the detention hearing, Gonzales said prosecutors are waiting to review all the information before they decide whether to pursue prosecuting the teen as an adult.

"Typically you don't see someone as young as 14 being subject to adult certification, but the law does allow it in extreme circumstances. And certainly this would be one of them where a person as young as 14 is charged with capital murder," Gonzales said.

Even if the teen were tried as an adult, the death penalty can not be considered for someone under 18, per Texas law and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. 

His next hearing will be held June 12 to decide if he can be released to his family

About the Author: