JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) - A judge has rejected a motion to dismiss the murder charge against a 13-year-old Jacksonville boy.
Jacksonville judge Mallory Cooper made the decision Tuesday. Cristian Fernandez was 12 when he was arrested and charged with killing his 2-year-old half-brother. He is scheduled for trial March 4.
His attorneys had argued that the charge should be dismissed because if convicted of the crime, determining and notifying Fernandez of a possible sentence was made impossible under Florida law by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That ruling said sentencing juveniles to a mandatory term of life in prison without parole for murder is cruel and unusual punishment.
Defense attorney Hank Coxe said the ruling won't distract the legal team from its mission to keep the teen from life in prison without parole.