Process of transferring juvenile cases to adult court
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — There have been recent cases in the Tennessee Valley where minors are accused of serious crimes. Cases like this start in juvenile court, but sometimes they are transferred to adult court.
In Grundy County, five high school football players are charged with attempted aggravated rape. They are accused of abusing a Freshman in the school’s Field House.
Over in Bradley County, a fourteen year old faces aggravated domestic assault and attempted second degree murder charges after being accused of shooting a person multiple times.
The cases are currently in juvenile court. Judge Rob Philyaw is the Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge. He says the purpose is to rehabilitate children who make mistakes.
“hopefully never re-offend in a similar or another way all while not dubbing them a criminal and giving them a wait of a criminal record, that works most of the time with most of the children that we see,” Judge Philyaw said.
He says occasionally when a child has had a series of escalating offenses or depending on the severity of the crime, the District Attorney will ask the court to consider moving the minor to the adult system.
“That is done formally through a notice to the defendant and his attorney that the state, the DA is requesting a hearing on whether the child should be prosecuted in juvenile court or in state adult court.”
Many factors go into deciding whether a case will be transferred.
“The child’s record in juvenile court, past treatment efforts and things that have been tried to address any past record,”Judge Philyaw said.
For Judge Philyaw, it is sad day when a case has to be moved.
“It is a tragedy because the long term repercussions are so much more severe, life altering. You know what the prosecutor is say in essence, whether they say it literally or not, what they are saying is, ‘Judge you have tried, you failed and now it is time to give up on this child and send them to the criminal justice system,'” he said.
The suspects in the Grundy County case are expected to be in court on November 15.