A 14-year-old boy is now in adult prison for shooting an older teenager to death in St. Paul in September.
The St. Paul teen was sentenced Friday in Ramsey County District Court after pleading guilty to second-degree unintentional murder in connection with the death on Sept. 1 of Jorge E. Batres, 17, of Coon Rapids, on the city's East Side.
The teen was prosecuted as an adult and received a 12-year sentence, with the first eight years served while locked up. A second-degree intentional murder count was dismissed.
The teen is serving his time in the Lino Lakes prison in an area reserved for juveniles. As of Monday, there are three inmates under age 18 in the medium- and minimum-security facility, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC).
Lino Lakes prison specializes in educational and treatment programs. In many cases, offenders serve the final phase of their incarceration at this facility for these programs ahead of their release, the DOC notes.
The state sees very few suspects this young or younger accused of murder. Since 2001, there have been at least eight others who were 14 or younger charged with murder in Minnesota, according to a state judicial branch spokesman.
While public court records and the County Attorney's Office identify the defendant by name, the Star Tribune is withholding his identity because of his age.
According to the charges against the 14-year-old, officers were called to the 1200 block of Hazelwood Street about 6 p.m., where they found Batres in the driver's seat of a pickup truck with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
One of two witnesses told police the teen and Batres appeared to struggle in the pickup. One shot was fired while both were in the vehicle. The suspect got out and shot Batres again, took money from inside the vehicle and ran off.
Batres' sister told an investigator that he had accumulated more than $1,000. Investigators searched the suspect's home and seized $1,525 and three bags of marijuana.
Officers located the teen, and he said he was at the market earlier "but went home to take a shower and then came back with his mother," the complaint read.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482