Teen faces adult penalties for shooting death of brother

Juanly Pena, 14, charged with shooting his 9-year-old brother to death in February, will be tried in open court and, if convicted could face the same prison sentence as an adult, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports

Pena was arraigned in Boston Juvenile Court this morning on charges of manslaughter and unlawful possession of a firearm for the death of his brother Janmarcos Pena, the DA's office says. He was ordered held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The DA's office provided this account:

[Assistant DA Ian] Polumbaum told the court today that the defendant had stopped going to school after he was arrested for fighting. On the morning of the incident, he was home with his sister and younger brother, Janmarcos, who was playing video games while his mother went to the car as she undertook efforts to obtain home schooling services for the defendant.

At about 11:30, Polumbaum said, Juanly Peña approached his brother while holding a semiautomatic handgun. Peña later told investigators that he “squeezed the trigger,” believing the weapon to be unloaded because he had removed the ammunition magazine. Instead, this action discharged a round from the chamber.

Though Juanly Peña did not admit to aiming the gun at Janmarcos Peña, the bullet entered the younger boy’s upper chest from a distance of about two to three feet, Polumbaum said.

Investigators continue to try to find how the teen obtained the gun, the DA's office reports.

Innocent, etc.



Free tagging: 



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Why do we have a separate juvenile justice system at all if we're going to try this 14 year old kid as an adult? I don't see how throwing the book at this kid serves the community, the family, the victim, or the perpetrator.

Because ...


That's why.

Open court means political cachet. The decision clearly has nothing to do with actual justice.

What Would You Call Actual Justice

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For someone who got himself a gun, pointed it at someone, pulled the trigger and killed him?

Grandstanding would have been murder two under the "plain and strong likelihood of death" prong of malice, adult court, no discretion. Involuntary manslaughter with a juvenile court judge sounds about right.


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I agree with you. I mean hear what the above post is saying about difference in the crimes and that would be all well if the other person would be alive again..... He murdered someone and not just someone his own brother. If he is not to be punished then he will do this again. If he was so serious about his redemption why hasn't he given up where he got received the fire arm from? My point exactly.

YO Not the Same as Adult

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Juveniles are tried as adults in murder cases. Youthful offender charges are NOT the same. They provide for juvenile or adult penalties, whichever is most appropriate to the defendant. In most YO cases they are significantly more lenient than what an adult would get, but they put more on the table because some crimes committed by juveniles are much worse than others.

This was the proper thing to do

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Charge the suspect based on the severity of the crime, instead of some arbitrary standard like the suspect's age. All suspects should be charged in this manner, and we can one and for all abolish this failed social experiment known as the kiddie entitlement program juvenile justice system.

Want to argue the suspect's immaturity, poor impluse control, etc., etc.. Fine, let their defense attorney raise those points during trial.


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Age has much to do with ability to understand what one is doing.

So, can we also get rid of the drinking age, voting age, and driving age by your "logic"?

Or is that somehow different?

If so, explain using your clearly deep knowledge and understanding of brain development, rather than opinions pulled out of your other end. We are waiting.

Acquired by the kid

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I believe I read previously that the kid acquired it himself from someone on the street because he needed it to defend himself. Of course, with his violent past he probably did need to defend himself from someone he assaulted who was more than capable of fighting back with greater firepower.

That link also made me consider whether this "accident" was due to his carelessness in using the gun to threaten his brother and not like some sort of game or cleaning it or anything when it went off accidentally.

If that is the case, then trying him as an adult doesn't seem too harsh a treatment. This kid has not been served well yet, but the system was trying at least. He just kept pushing the limits and abusing anything he came in contact with. Can he be reformed? Most likely...but his profile isn't that of a juvenile offender (low in culpability, etc.).

What I read about it a while back indicates an accident.

He dropped the magazine thinking the gun wouldn't fire. He pointed it at his brother, with a round in the chamber and it went off. Some semi-automatic pistols will NOT fire if the magazine is not properly seated, or is absent. The particular firearm he had fires a chambered round regardless of the presence of a magazine.

Horrible situation all around.

Yes, when I was a kid and

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Yes, when I was a kid and playing with my gun, I'd always check the magazine before aiming the gun at my brother....... How can you even try to justify this?

Knowing what happened is helpful.

We may not like the idea that he pointed a gun at his younger brother, or the fact that he thought pulling the trigger back was going to be ok. At least knowing how this happened can be used to try and avoid it happening again. If we aren't able to learn from this, and share this experience with others, than as the anon posted in response to me, many gun holders, legal and non, will remain negligent.

Whether any of us like it or not, there are illegal guns in the city. If we just keep focusing on the "Get all bad, horrible, guns" off of the streets (which is close to impossible, just look here:http://www.wfsb.com/story/23787840/pd-zip-gunmaker-has-been-making-guns-...), instead of educating more people, then we are certain to have more negligent discharges just like this one.

You're Right

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Knowing what happened is important. When I read the story, it is not just about a boy was unsafe with a gun.
I read a story about a young man who was home from school that day suspended. A young man who has hurt and threatened his family in the past. A young man who ran away from a DCF facility hours after being admitted. A young man who asked his sister to delay her 911 call, so he could have a head start, running away and ditching the gun. Also, a young man who will not cooperate with authorities, withholding information regarding where he got the gun.

Gun negligence and safety are a small part of this story.


When you combine this kid's ignorance about guns (thinking the chamber was empty because the magazine was not in the gun), his obvious disregard/disrespect for authority (numerous police calls from Mom and schools to deal with him), and his blatant lack of regard for human life (who aims a gun at their brother and pulls the trigger?), I can't get too upset about his being tried as an adult. There are far worse injustices that regularly occur in the criminal justice system to kids and adults with a less violent profile than this child.

It's incredibly upsetting to me that anyone would aim a gun at their brother and pull the trigger as, what, a joke? Having grown up around firearms, that was the number one rule. Never, ever point a gun at another person. Sad story.

Why would this kid point a

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Why would this kid point a gun, loaded or unloaded, at his brother? Is that too basic a question?