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First time in American history: A 12-years-old sentenced to life

A 12-year-old boy accused of murdering his little brother could be sentenced to life.

Cristian Fernandez from Florida is charged with first-degree murder and will be facing trial as an adult.

According to reports, Cristian repeatedly struck his 2-year-old brother David’s head while his mother was out. David was later found unconscious bleeding badly.

When the mother, Biannela, returned home, she tried giving first-aid and only brought David to hospital after two hours.

David was suffering from a fractured skull, a bleeding brain as well as bruising to his face, according to reports.

Biannela is also charged with aggravated manslaughter by culpable negligence. According to the police, she initially maintained that David was hurt by a fall.

The prosecutor in charge of the case revealed that Cristian had previously broken David’s leg, and said that he must be charged as an adult considering his violence.

Born to a adolescent mother, Cristian was physically abused by his stepfather. Cristian’s defense lawyers added that his foster father killed himself in front of the boy.

“The whole system has failed him. This child clearly is a victim,” lawyer Rob Mason told reporters.

“We think he can be rehabilitated and, as his lawyers, we will fight for that.”

By Kang, Yoon-seung


Intern reporter

<한글 요약>

美 12세 소년 종신형 논란

만 12세 소년이 1급 살인 혐의로 종신형이 내려질 것이라고 관측되는 가운데 미국 법조계에서 이에 대한 정당성에 대한 논의가 이루어지고 있다.

체포된 Cristian Fernandez군은 남동생 머리를 수 차례 가격하여 사망에 이르게 한 혐의로 기소되었다. 만 2세에 불과했던 David군의 몸에서는 두개골 골절, 뇌출혈 그리고 안면 상해가 관측되었다. 병원으로 옮겨진 이 아이는 끝내 숨졌다.

한편 아이의 어머니 비아넬라 역시 살인방조 혐의로 기소될 전망이다. 부상당한 David군을 발견하고도 피를 닦고 간단한 응급조치만 하면서 뒤늦게 병원에 데려온 것으로 확인되었기 때문이다. 또한 경찰에 따르면 이 여성은 처음에 아이가 떨어져서 다쳤다고 진술하였다.

사건 담당 검사는 Cristian이 예전에 동생의 다리를 부러뜨린 전과도 있다며 폭력성을 감안하면 어른과 동등하게 취급해야 한다고 주장했다.

반면 아이의 변호사 Rob Mason씨는 Cristian이 태어났을 당시 산모가 12세에 불과했던 점, 태어나서 불우한 환경에서 자랐던 점, 그리고 양아버지가 눈 앞에서 총으로 자살한 적이 있던 점 등을 들어 선처를 호소하고 있다.
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