3 Nebraska Teens Charged With First-Degree Murder to Be Tried as Juveniles

Lenny Rodriguez
Facebook/FreSita Roque

13-year-old Lenny Rodriguez was shot and killed after receiving a phone call from a stranger telling him to meet them in a local park to fight, according to reports.

Three Nebraska teenagers facing charges of first-degree murder for their connection in separate crimes will be tried as juveniles under Nebraska law. 

Nebraska law states that all individuals 13 years or younger will be tried as juveniles, with no exceptions given depending on the crime. 

Given the recent cases the three 13-year-olds represent, some authorities and victims' families are disputing the law that would allow them to be released at 19 years old, according to WOWT.

This comes after investigators arrested two of the boys on suspected first-degree murder charges for the death of Lenny Rodriguez, 13, according to police

Rodriguez was shot and killed on Sep. 28 after going to a local park after receiving a phone call from a stranger telling him to meet them there to fight, reported WOWT.

Police responded to the report of shots fired in the park area to find Rodriguez with a gunshot wound. He was then transported to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to police. 

Investigators arrested the first 13-year-old accused of murdering Rodriguez on Nov. 28th, then arrested the second on Nov. 29, said police.

“We can’t really get justice for him. This is not justice. Charging them as a juvenile feels like a slap on the wrist for him,” Rodriguez’s aunt told WJHG

In a separate case, a 13-year-old boy was arrested on a first-degree murder charge for the death of Alon Reed, 19, that occurred on Aug. 30, according to police

All three boys will be tried as juveniles under Nebraska law and could be released when they are 19 years old, even if they have been found responsible for the murders. 

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine wants other alternatives to the law available in situations like these where the crime is murder, reported WOWT.

“It seems that it might be taken advantage of in regards to certain groups who might have younger people carry on their business, knowing they can’t be prosecuted as an adult,” Kleine told WOWT.

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