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13- And 15-Year-Olds May Face Adult Trials In Wake County

Charged with killing a homeless man in Raleigh, at least four area teens may be tried as adults for the crime. The Wake County Prosecutor has confirmed that may seek a transfer of some of the teens involved in the death of 37-year-old Regynald Brown to adult court.

In total, five teens have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the homicide. Four are facing murder charges and the fifth is being charged as an accessory for allegedly helping get rid of Brown's body. His body was found stuffed into a trash can.

Three 15-year-olds and a 13-year-old male have been charged with homicide. The juveniles may face a trial as an adult but are safe from the death penalty or a mandatory life without parole sentence.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court held mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole unconstitutional. North Carolina responded to this ruling by passing Session Law 2012-148. The law allows juveniles who are convicted of first degree murder to be sentenced to life with parole or life without parole.

Those who are sentenced to life with parole must spend at least 25 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. The juvenile's age at the time of the offense, his or her mental capacity, level of maturity, prior criminal history, and the likelihood that he or she may benefit from rehabilitation may all be presented, among other factors, for the court to consider in determining a lesser sentence is warranted.

Source: ABCGolocal, "NC teens arrested in murder may be tried as adults," December 17, 2012

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