Teens’ conspiracy case remanded to juvenile court

May 20, 2015

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — Two 14-year-old Hesperia boys who were facing charges as adults of conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and rape have been remanded to family court, where they will now be prosecuted as juveniles.

“The two boys that had been charged as adults have had their cases remanded by agreement of the parties to the 27th Circuit Court Family Division for further proceedings consistent with the juvenile code,” stated Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon in a statement Wednesday morning, May 20. “So, all three are now being charged/treated as juveniles.”

Despite their age, the two boys were previously facing charges as adults due to the seriousness of the alleged crimes. The case against a third boy, who is described by Bizon as “the least culpable,” was transferred to juvenile court earlier this month.

All three boys, lodged in the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Facility, face charges of conspiracy to commit homicide or first-degree murder; conspiracy to commit kidnapping; and conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC). For adult offenders, those charges carry maximum life sentences.

“It appears there was a sleepover,” Bizon said, when the boys “concocted a plan to do something to a 14-year-old girl.” The plan was never carried out, he said, and the victim was never harmed. They went to the victim’s Newfield Township house in the middle of the night last February, Bizon said, but they became “frustrated by her family dog.”

Word of their plan spread around school, he said. “Things were being talked about,” the prosecutor said. “They agreed among themselves to do this. This goes beyond teenage shenanigans of boys being boys.”

One of the boys also faces an additional count of third-degree CSC stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy who was at the sleepover, Bizon said. One faces an additional two counts of receiving and concealing weapons.

Instead of facing life in prison, the boys now face “out-of-home placement,” such as a detention facility where they are all currently lodged, or foster care, Bizon said. They could also be ordered to probation and services, such as mental health treatment.

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