GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A 13-year-old boy is competent for trial in the fatal stabbing of a 9-year-old boy at a western Michigan playground and can learn details of the legal process like any other defendant, a judge has ruled.
The decision by Kent County Family Court Judge Paul Denenfeld is in line with a state expert’s finding. It conflicts with the opinion from an expert hired by the boy’s lawyer that the child couldn’t sufficiently understand the charges and aid in his own defense.
“While the defendant may not understand all the details of the process, that makes him no different from most Americans who gain their understanding of the criminal justice system from television and movies,” Denenfeld wrote in his opinion released this week. FULL STORY HERE