Four teens to be tried as adults

November 7, 2008 8:57:39 PM PST
Four of five Philadelphia high school students charged in a heinous crime will be charged as adults.That was the result of an emotional court hearing Friday.

The hearing had to be moved to a bigger courtroom because of the number of people attending. After hearing from a number of witnesses, including psychologists, the judge denied the five defendants motions to have their cases sent to juvenile court, with the exception of one.

"We do feel justice was served," said Stephen Conroy, the victim's father. "It's not really a win-lose situation. We do feel his answer was just."

It was a case that rocked the city. Police say Sean Patrick Conroy, manager of a Center City Starbucks, was randomly attacked and killed by five Simon Gratz High School students in a subway concourse in the middle of the day.

Friday, lawyers for the three 17 year olds and two 16 year olds tried to convince a judge to send the cases to family court where, if they are found guilty, they could end up at a juvenile placement facility and then set free at age 21.

But, Judge Benjamin Lerner disagreed. Calling it a "monstrous case with a monstrous result," he ruled they should be tried as adults except for 16 year old Kinta Stanton, who had been quickly arrested and gave police the names of the others involved. Stanton's mother was grateful.

"The bottom line is my son is a good kid, and he's very, very remorseful, and I just want the family to know my prayers are with them," said Viakeeta Stanton.

Meanwhile, the ruling seemd to have brought Conroy's parents, who have been wrought with grief, a little bit of comfort.

'We're in agreement, we feel good about the decision that was made today," said Sharon Conroy, the victim's mother. "It doesn't bring our son back, but we do feel like some justice has been done."

From here, a date will be set for a pre-trial conference, and then a trial date for the four defendants to be tried as adults.

The case of Kinta Stanton now goes to family court, where a trial date will be set for him.

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