A 15-year-old boy charged with attempted murder of a Ferris High School teacher will not be tried as an adult.
Deputy Prosecutor Bill Reeves announced Tuesday in Spokane County Juvenile Court that he will not ask a judge to transfer Jacob D. Carr to adult court.
The significance for Carr is profound: He could get 20 to 25 years in prison as an adult while the most extreme sentence he can get as a juvenile is six years, incarceration until he turns 21.
His standard sentence, if convicted as charged with attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm, would range from 16 1/2 to 18 3/4 months of confinement and up to 300 hours of community service.
Carr is to be arraigned next Tuesday.
Reeves said he and his supervisor, Bob Jalovi, and Prosecutor Steve Tucker decided to keep Carr in juvenile court after consulting police and school officials. He said the decision was based on a long list of criteria spelled out by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Carr’s youthfulness and the fact that he was living the life of a juvenile – enrolled in school, living with his parents – were among the reasons for treating him as a juvenile, Reeves said.
The decision also took into consideration a mental evaluation in which Dr. Mark Mays, a Spokane psychologist, found Carr has “significant psychological difficulties” and is immature for his age.
Also, Reeves said, the law gives weight to the fact that no one was physically injured in the alleged crime.
Carr’s relative lack of criminal history means he hasn’t had the benefit of rehabilitative programs available through the juvenile court system. There is nothing in Carr’s record to indicate he wouldn’t respond well to the “extensive” treatment programs available through juvenile court, Reeves said.
Carr’s only criminal history includes his guilty plea in February to harassment for threatening to kill the same teacher he subsequently is alleged to have attempted to murder.
Police say Carr went to Ferris High School on March 24 and got within six feet of English teacher Michelle Klein-Coles with a .32-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
According to police, Carr waited more than an hour outside a staff room for an opportunity to get Klein-Coles alone, and she left the building while he was getting a drink of water.