Teen accused of murder to be tried as youthful offender

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 6/19/2013 5:16 pm Published: 6/19/2013 9:18 am

The 14-year-old boy accused of breaking into a Jenks home and murdering a 47-year-old woman when she came home will be tried as a youthful offender.

Even though Joshua Mooney is now 15, a judge ruled Mooney will not be tried as an adult in the murder of 47-year-old Mary Escue.

There are seven factors the judge considered when deciding to try Mooney as a youthful offender and one of them was his sophistication and maturity. The judge said he was lacking as evidenced by the haphazard nature of the crime and the fact he had no plan to escape the burglary scene if someone came home without killing them.

The prosecution, Mary Escue's family and Josh Mooney's family avoided talking to media after the ruling, but Mooney's defense attorney, Jack Zanerhaft, was pleased.

"Obviously, I agree with the judge's decision. It was well-rooted in the law and the facts," he said.

He said Judge Clifford Smith was fair in considering all seven criteria for certifying Mooney as a youthful offender.

"It's a combination of amenability to treatment, it's about protecting the public, it's his age, and it's all those factors," said Zanerhaft.

The main factors the judge talked about were the fact that Mooney went into the home to commit a burglary, not a murder and had no sophistication in destroying or getting rid of evidence.

He also confessed to the crimes.

The judge also talked about a hope that the Office of Juvenile Affairs could put together a rehabilitation plan for Mooney that could keep him from re-offending.

He based that decision on the fact that Mooney's past criminal history was worst when he had the least supervision and his behavior was best when he saw direct consequences for his actions.

That's what the judge hopes Mooney will find in OJA.

Zanerhaft is glad this 15-year-old boy will have a chance to change.

"Certainly, his tender age is motivating in terms of trying to save somebody's life to give somebody a chance. And so, that's how our office approached it," he said.

The state does plan to appeal the decision.

If Mooney is convicted of murder as a youthful offender, he will go through rehabilitation treatment and be under the supervision of OJA until he's 18 years and 5 months old.

A judge will be able to bridge him over to the Department of Corrections as an adult if Mooney proves an inability to rehabilitate during that time.

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Tommy - 6/19/2013 9:38 PM
1 Vote
Our so called justice system is corrupted very bad.

Consense - 6/19/2013 7:14 PM
0 Votes
Young people are very changeable. 14 is young. I think the judge was absolutely right. This is no way means I disregard the loss of that 47 year old woman's life. That is a tragedy. Taking the kid's life would be a double tragedy.

watergirl - 6/19/2013 3:29 PM
1 Vote
So if he gets convicted as a "youthful offender" and does a little time for it in juvie, will it all be expunged when he turns 18? Letting this kid "get away with murder" will only come back and bite us in the end. Who knows what this guy will do as an adult? What is happening to our justice system? I sure don't want to meet up with him in 5 or 10 years from now.

Mayor Maynot - 6/19/2013 1:30 PM
1 Vote
Will he get the death penalty??? If you keep on with he was too young, then you may set a trend IN JUVENILE MURDERERS. This punk knew what he was doing, so don't even bring IQ into the issue. It's already a given :-/ he's for sure stupid.
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