Teens won’t be charged as adults in killing of Lansing 18-year-old
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Tomaz J. Shessia was killed by gunshot in the morning of March 23, at a bus stop located near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Mary Avenue.
The Lansing Police Department soon released further shocking information, when they confirmed that two suspects were arrested in the killing; a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old. Both teenagers have been charged with second degree murder.
Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Carol A. Siemon was then faced with the decision of whether to charge the teens as children, or as adults.
“In the shooting death of Mr. Tomaz Shessia, I have talked with the victim’s mother on two occasions and met with other attorneys in my office including the Family Court Unit Chief,” Siemon said. “I then had to decide if I would petition the Family Court to ask to have these juveniles tried as adults.”
The law recognizes childhood as a unique and distinct chapter in life, from juvenile delinquency proceedings, to educational needs. As a result, it provides different punishments for children than for adults.
Siemon said, “After meeting with others about this particular case, and carefully weighing the information about all the factors I must consider, including the fact that a person was killed who no longer has his life and future in front of him, I made the decision that this doesn’t fit the criteria for me to petition for waiver.”
Siemon told News 10 she understands that the decision may not be popular, but believes she had an ethical obligation to request the charges she did.
“This is a decision that is not popular with all people in the community and I am saddened that this decision does not feel supportive to them,” Siemon said. “My decision is one based on trying to best meet the prosecutor’s ethical decision to obtain justice, and that means considering, but not yielding, to public pressure.”
Related: Crime News
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