Student Who Beat Teacher Over Nintendo Switch Charged As Adult
A 17-year-old high school student will be charged as an adult after beating his teacher to a bloody pulp after she took his Nintendo Switch. The student is a very large boy at 6’6”, 270 lbs. The student may face up to 30 years in prison on the charges, although that is unlikely to happen given his age. Nonetheless, he will face adult charges for the beating.
The beating was caught on video and it is disturbing. The teen can be seen running at the teacher. The teacher goes airborne and then the teen continues to punch and kick her as she’s lying motionless on the ground. While others try to intervene, the teen is large. Even as other teachers are trying to break up the fight, the teen’s attention is focused on striking the teacher. The result is that many believe the teen should be charged with attempted murder. Given the video, a prosecutor could very easily pin an attempted murder charge on this student.
After the arrest, the student told police that he would kill her the next time he saw her.
What will happen?
No defense attorney can defend what this boy did, but there’s still hope that he can be rehabilitated. It’s not entirely clear why this boy’s emotional control is so out of whack, but a 17-year-old cannot be held to the same standard as a 30-year-old. The 17-year-old’s brain has not fully developed yet. Therefore, the law makes it more difficult for prosecutors to file charges, but not impossible. In the case of violent crimes like this one, prosecutors will almost always file adult charges against a 17-year-old. This is especially true in Florida where the prosecution of minors as adults occurs much more frequently than in other states.
Given the cruelty of the crime, the intentional malice that seems evident, and the capricious nature of harming someone in a school setting, the law will not have much sympathy for this defendant. The apparent remorselessness of the defendant is unlikely to help his case. In order to prove that he is rehabilitated, he will need to meet treatment goals while in prison.
The chances that this particular defendant spends the majority of his life in prison are high. In a lot of these cases, defendants with poor emotional control end up reoffending while inside and end up behind bars forever.
Could he end up in psychiatric treatment?
Yes, but these aren’t necessarily better outcomes. While an insanity plea will render a defendant not guilty to the charges, the state still has a duty of care to protect the public. Often, defendants are remanded to the care of a psychiatric facility and in these cases, they may not have a fixed sentence. So, they might get out in a year, ten years, or potentially never if the facility still considers them a threat.
In this case, it probably would be better to pursue a mental health defense as the student is facing considerable time as an adult, has an underdeveloped brain and a developmental disability.
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