12-Year-Old Charged With Murder Breaks Moms' Hearts Everywhere

Police have arrested a 12-year-old boy for murder, and may decide to try him as an adult. Jarrell Milton was finally tracked down by the authorities hundreds of miles from where the alleged crime happened, when a supposed drug deal went bad.


Milton was wanted for the June 29 incident in Omaha, Nebraska, in which 31-year-old Jamymell Ray was murdered after trying to buy drugs off of him and two other boys -- Milton’s brother Jamar, 17, and Shuntayvious Primes-Willis, 15. Another man, 30-year-old Charles Fisher, was also injured, and the teens have already been arrested.

The preteen made it all the way to Minneapolis before the cops caught him on Tuesday, July 7. He’s currently in custody, and court proceedings to transport him back to Omaha are expected to begin Wednesday.

The prosecutors believe that the three boys promised to sell the men some pot, but instead tried to rob them at gunpoint when they showed up for the deal. Shots were fired, killing Ray and injuring Fisher.

The fact that Milton could be charged with first-degree murder is mind-boggling, even to Omaha law enforcement. Police spokesman Michael Pecha said, "I don't recall ever seeing someone that young charged with a crime that serious.”

Prosecutors also believe that the boys have gang ties. "There isn't any question in my mind," said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.

"Our intentions are to file on them as adults," he continued. "There's a question in regards to the 12-year-old under the new law, whether we can proceed in adult court, so we'll get him into custody and then make that determination."

But even he can’t believe a 12-year-old may be charged with a crime of this magnitude. "It's incomprehensible. It's unbelievable when you think of somebody who's 12 years old, seventh grade or sixth grade, and being charged with murder for having a gun -- approaching somebody and using that firearm with two other people that also had firearms," Kleine said. "All of it's even impossible to imagine that it's even a possibility."

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It's heartbreaking to wonder what has gone on in this kid's life to make him capable of murder before he even hit his teen years. My eldest is almost 12, and I see her innate desire to do right and help others -- the fact that some kids her age lack even the most basic moral compass (i.e., don't murder people) is wrenching.

I don't know if it’s right to try this kid as an adult, but if there's evidence that he acted deliberately and with intent, he needs to be tried for the crime. I still can't help but hope that this becomes a turning point in his life.

Do you think a 12-year-old should be tried for murder as an adult?


Image via © William Whitehurst/CORBIS

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