10/05/2011

Boy Murder Suspect Appears In Court

Plea Agreement Talks To Continue Through End Of Month

Cristian Fernandez attends a pretrial hearing on a murder charge.
POSTED: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Prosecutors and defense attorneys asked a judge Wednesday for another few weeks to work out a plea agreement for the youngest person in the history of Duval County to be charged with first-degree murder.Investigators say 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez beat his 2-year-old half brother to death.Fernandez was in court for less than two minutes at Wednesday morning's pretrial hearing. The judge set a date for his next hearing to be Oct. 31.Meanwhile, a New Hampshire woman has started an online petition, hoping to get Fernandez's case back into the juvenile court system.So far, she's collected about 114,000 signatures on the petition.The state attorney or a grand jury would have to agree to charge Fernandez as a juvenile rather than as an adult.If convicted as a juvenile, his sentence would be considerably shorter than if he were convicted as an adult.

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