Colorado District Attorney, David Young, wants to bring adult first-degree murder charges against a 15-year-old boy that he believes is responsible for the death of 10-year-old Kiaya Campbell. Earlier this month, on June 7, a massive amber alert and search was begun when Kiaya went missing. Reports indicate that she was last seen walking to a nearby store with Aidan Zellmer, the 15-year-old son of her father’s girlfriend. Kiaya Campbell’s body was found in Thornton, Colorado with signs of trauma on it.
As of now, prosecutors do not believe that the girl was sexually molested, although initially there was some suspicion. Aidan Zellmer claims that the two became separated during a thunderstorm, but now he has been charged with murder.
State prosecutors said that they will seek to bring the case to an adult court. A juvenile court judge will then decide if the boy will be charged as an adult or as a juvenile. He was charged with first-degree murder with intent and after deliberation and first-degree murder of a child under the age of 12 by a person in a position of trust. He is set to appear in court on June 30th.
Colorado’s Juvenile Criminal Justice System
In Colorado, children and teenagers are typically not treated the same as adults who commit crimes. The juvenile justice system seeks to focus more on treatment and rehabilitation, while the adult justice system focuses more on punishment. Prosecutors, however, are allowed to seek adult charges against teenagers who are 16 or 17 – especially when a violent crime has been committed.
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If a child is charged and convicted as an adult, he or she could be sentenced to prison for a significant portion of their adult life. As such it is important to fight these charges aggressively. Your Boulder criminal defense lawyer can protect your child’s right to a fair and just trial and work to prevent charges from escalating. As a parent, it is up to you to get your child the best legal help you can during this difficult time.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
If your child has been arrested and charged with a crime in Boulder or anywhere in the State of Colorado, it is important to fight these charges aggressively. A criminal conviction can wreck your child’s life and future. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.