SAO: Cristian Fernandez Won't Stand Trial, Spend Life in Prison | Crime

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SAO: Cristian Fernandez Won't Stand Trial, Spend Life in Prison
Crime

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The youngest murder suspect in the city's history does not have a plea deal at this point but likely will not stand trial, officials said today.

According to State Attorney Angela Corey, there is no plea deal to announce today in the Cristian Fernandez case, but the defense and prosecution are still working through details.

Fernandez, 12, is accused of first degree murder in connection with the death of his 2-year-old half brother, David Gala.

Fernandez will not stand trial, Corey said, nor will he get a life sentence but the prosecution would prefer that he serve his adult sentence in a juvenile facility.    

Investigators said Gala died as a result of a fatal beating after he was rammed into a bookshelf by his older brother.

The case has made international headlines, with petitions and blogs calling for leniency.

"Quite frankly, I resent people who don't know anything about this case espousing opinions without knowing all of the facts and circumstances," said Corey.

The criticism was heard around the world after State Attorney Angela Corey decided to charge 12 year old Cristian Fernandez as an adult in the murder of his 2 year old half brother, David.

Headlines from the Philippines to the UK decried the charges as too harsh, as facebook pages and petitions begged Corey to change her mind.

"They're looking at it as a social issue. But my obligation is clear: I am the chief prosecutor on this circuit and it is my job to enforce the laws that exist on this book. NOT to respond to petitions, and not to try and legislate," she said.  

Thursday, Corey recorded a video statement on the case, explaining where the case stands now, because the interest in the outcome has been so widespread.

"I have called so many people, and I emailed a young girl in Australia yesterday, I cannot possibly respond to all of the requests for information, or the people expressing their concern," she said.  

Corey says she has been working closely with Public Defender Matt Shirk on the possible outcomes for the 12 year old, which included incarceration in a juvenile facility, or a segregated section of prison for youth offenders. Either way, it will end in a plea deal.

"No one's ever talked about a trial. No one's ever talked about life in prison. The rumors are rampant about that," she said.

The Judge in the case has allowed both sides more time to come up with a suitable solution for Cristian, though Corey says she's still not sure what that will look like.

"This entire case has been quite frankly, a nightmare," said Corey. 

Biannela Susana, the mother of the boys, is also in jail charged with aggravated manslaughter. Susana's two other children, ages four and six, have been placed in foster care.

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