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Jacksonville, FL – Christian Fernandez, 13, is facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of his two-year-old half brother and the sexual abuse of another half-brother, 5.

Fernandez is the youngest inmate awaiting trial in Duval County.  He is obviously being tried as an adult, but there is a fair amount of controversy surrounding that decision.

To get the full impact of this case, it is necessary to examine this boy’s life thus far, because “tragic” doesn’t even begin to describe it accurately.

Christian Fernandez was born to a 12-year-old mother, Biannela Susana, in 1999.  The father, a 25-year-old man, received 10 years probation for sexually assaulting her.

Two years later, the boy was found dirty and naked wandering a South Florida street alone at 4 AM while his grandmother, who had been given responsibility for him, was holed up in a hotel room on a cocaine binge.  Mother and son were placed in foster care after that incident.

In 2007, Department of Children and Families conducted an investigation to follow up on allegations that an 8-year-old Christian was being sexually abused by an older cousin.  Around this time, he began acting out in disturbing ways; masturbating in school, possibly killing a kitten, and simulating sex with classmates.

In October 2010, Christian, his mother, and her new husband moved to Hialeah, FL, a Miami suburb.  One day, the boy arrived at school with an eye injury severe enough that he was sent to be checked for retinal damage.  He told officials that his stepfather had punched him.  However, when police arrived at the house to question the man, he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Soon after that, Susana and Christian moved into a non-descript housing complex in Jacksonville where the boy was enrolled in middle school, receiving straight A’s.

A few months later, in March of 2011, Christian’s 2-year-old brother, David, was pronounced dead at the hospital with a fractured skull, a brain bleed, and a bruised eye.  As Susana tells the story, she left Christian, David, and her other children home without adult supervision.  When she returned, David was unresponsive, but she waited for 8-1/2 hours before bringing him to the hospital, instead choosing to perform Internet searches on “unconsciousness” and seeking advice via texts to her friends.

Susana, who would eventually plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the case and could get 30 years, also revealed to investigators that Christian had broken the toddler’s leg several weeks previously while the two were wrestling.  A medical examiner stated that he believed the boy might have survived the subsequent head injury had he been brought to the hospital sooner.

Christian was initially interviewed as a witness in the death, but was eventually charged with first-degree murder.  During the course of the investigation, he was also charged with sexual abuse when his 5-year-old half brother maintained that he had been molested by Christian.

“Christian denied any plans or intent to kill his brother,” one doctor wrote. “He seemed rather defensive about discussing what triggered his anger. He talked about having a ‘flashback’ of the abuse by his stepfather as the motive for this offense… Christian was rather detached emotionally while discussing the incident.”

Since the boy has been deemed a violence threat, he will be detained through what could be a very lengthy trial.

However, the legal controversy surrounding the case is significant.  First of all is the question over whether or not a child so young can be sentenced to life without parole.  Secondly, can a 13-year-old, particularly with a past as sordid as Christian’s, fully understand his crimes and/or the complex legal issues they pose?

In August, Judge Mallory Cooper deemed the police interrogation transcripts inadmissible in court because the boy could not have fully understood his Miranda rights, nor comprehended his right to speak with an attorney.  Prosecutors are appealing this decision.

Meanwhile, the defense is moving for all charges to be dismissed since the U.S. Supreme Court has banned life sentences without parole levied to juveniles, and Florida Legislature has not changed their state laws to allow them.  As a result, they are claiming they cannot effectively advise their client.

Prosecutors say they never claimed to be seeking a mandatory life sentence.  Rather, they say the old Florida law that called for a 25-year-to-life sentence could apply.

“I know they’re good people and good lawyers,” Mitch Stone, a Jacksonville defense attorney who is familiar with the case, said. “But if a resolution short of trial doesn’t occur, this case is on a collision course to sending Christian Fernandez to life in prison. That’s why this is one of those very difficult cases. It’s hard to understand what the appropriate measure is.”

I think it’s very easy to label Christian a “monster” and to want to throw the book at him hard.  However, I find it difficult to take that stance when I take into account his past, how it was riddled with abuse at the hands of others, and his age.  If anyone could be a poster child for environmentally-induced sociopathy, I vote for Christian Fernandez.  I realize that the same could be said for many other criminals doing life terms, but I personally find this case particularly sad since it seems the prosecution is willing to throw a 13-year-old’s life into the trash bin without any attempt at rehabilitation ever being made.

Call me a bleeding heart, but I can’t help but feel that our society has let Christian Fernandez down in the very worst ways.

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Comments


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  • HotReadingMama

    Jesus. That story made my stomach hurt.

  • CT

    Shit, I can’t make any dickhead comments because this story is really fucked up and tragic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Leashaness Alicia Lynee’

    For adults who try to use troubled pasts as motive/justification to kill, it’s just excuses. So why is this lil shit’s past something to look at? He’s THIRTEEN, not five. He KNOWS the difference between right and wrong. Has he even shown ANY remorse for MURDERING a toddler and molesting a kindergartener? Oh, that’s right, he can’t show remorse because he “can’t understand” the charges, gimme a fuckin break! I was raped as a child and abused, I haven’t murdered my 2 year old son, I haven’t sexually assaulted anyone, and I know MANY more who are the same, despite their poor, boo-hoo filled pasts. And the mother, throw that trash in jail to rot with her evil seed. Throw his ass in jail with the big dogs and let him get beaten to death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennyLane1031 Jennifer N Ryan Lane

    that bastard, he’ll end up out in public when he’s 40 and he’ll be molesting children himself lock him up for life with meds and a counselor, our children do not deserve to be a target after this monster grows up, there is no fixing him

  • Zazen

    I think what Pete’s trying to establish with this story is that this kid’s life has been an unrelenting shitfest from day 1. Yes, you turned out ok, but I’ll bet there were a lot of mitigating factors which contributed to your ‘ok person-ness’. Or hell, it could have been just one person who showed you how to be a decent human being. This kid on the other hand… doesn’t seem like he had anyone like that.

  • Zazen

    You must be from Florida lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/karrasmithhammonds Kelly Hammonds

    It’s a sad terribly story. In most of these stories, children living in these circumstances, the kid doesn’t survive to become a perpetrator too. It’s amazing that the state never really got custody of him and DCS wasn’t an active force in their lives considering all the shit and red flags. Honestly, I think the damage is done. It’s awful but he’s murdering and molesting, he’s probably never going to be “safe”. Such a loss. He was not protected from the moment of his conception.

  • Parrot Toes

    This is such a tragic story. I feel for this kid just as much as I feel
    for his dead brother and molested brother. I also feel for his mother.
    It sounds like this fucked up-edness is multi-generational. Yes, mom
    deserves jail time because she is now an adult and should have taken the
    toddler to the hospital pronto. This boy? He needs a lot of therapy and
    support. Jail time is only going to make him worse.

    I NEVER side with the murderers or their parents for fucking up their
    offspring, but this kid is still help-able. He’s only 13. Yes, he MAY be
    able to know right from wrong but there are so many other variables to
    consider as well. His emotions and social skills are still in
    development stages and he wasn’t given much of a fair chance BEFORE he
    killed his brother. He needs help; guidance, not prison.

    I may never rarely side with murderers, but I always fume at the way that their
    parents fucked them up and how society usually let them down. It’s
    never a win-win situation to just throw a monster away and forget about
    them, people should learn from them. In the very least, recognize why
    they did what they did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edward.hickey Edward Hickey

    What a background for this boy, talk about a rough childhood. I don’t think he should do life but I got a feeling even if he got out by 21 I’d bet he’s headed back in quickly. These adults in his life have failed him so badly he most likely will never recover.

  • Parrot Toes

    And why the Hell is my comment formatted like a poem?!?!

    Pfft, don’t comment for a while and then when I do, things get wonky. *Curse you, @Morbid* (Sorry dude, I just need to blame someone.)

  • Athena

    Actually, no, it’s not just excuses. If an adult criminal’s past is verified and deemed pertinent to his crimes, that is often a mitigating factor that results in everything from lenient sentences to acquittal.

  • sam1211

    :( I don’t have anything……just sad very very sad. Que futurama meme “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore”

  • Athena

    Great write-up, Pete.

  • Shar G’z

    I think children as young as 12 that give birth should be required to sign over any and all rights of the baby to social services immediately!! this all started with his mother, she is definitely to blame for all of this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JsbPlumbingServices John Brooks

    Poor kid had a hard life no wonder it went down hill for him fucking human race is Fucked up we it let this poor kid down the big time and now he will go to prison and become a bigger victim then he already is and as he gets older kill again and will never be free so sad when this happens to poor kids like this from the day he was born to a 12 year old he should have been looked after by the state then maybe just maybe he would have stood a chance

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729204788 Airavee Marks-saeger

    it is a sad story but we all want to judge the mom she was 12 asualted by a 25 year old man and her mom was a coke junkie she is not much better off then her son . some people react different in same situations but the sad truth is most do what is done to them. feel sorry for him but know he cant be let on the the streets to teach another kid to molest or be molested .also we cant look past the fact that he killed a 2 year old. life is not fair its not but all we can do is serve justice . sadly he didnt get any but its too late now we have to give justice to the two kids he has killed and scared

  • come_and_see

    One word to summarize it all.

    DAMN.

  • OutOfBubbleGum

    Where are you going to find a jury of his peers? Perhaps, doable? “I need twelve thirteen years old kids who want to miss two months of school.” Would a fair trial have a thirteen year old judge and thirteen year old prosecutor? And finally, how can you get a life sentence in Florida prison system when you don’t even have a tattoo? Espically, one that says “Momma” above his heart?

  • miiss

    his mother is to blame? did you not read how this child was made? she was a 12 year old victim she didnt “start” it!

  • Sam

    I hate to say it, but it sounds like this kid is fucked in both the nurture and nature departments. Could you really rehabilitate thirteen years of learning all the wrong things? What a waste.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clayton.knudsen1 Clayton Knudsen

    As usual, you have made an excellent point. The state completely failed both his mother and himself. (I forget which one to use) They let a 12 year old try to raise a child. This is messed up as you can get. I am going to say something I thought I would never say. This killer should be in an institution that will help him. I doubt juvi or prison will help him

  • http://www.facebook.com/clayton.knudsen1 Clayton Knudsen

    Where to place blame? The grandmother? the mother? Place it squarely on the CPS in that state. The state just walked away after a child gave birth and the sperm donor killed himself. “ok nothing here folks, move along now.”

  • Athena

    Hi, Airavee! I’ve gotta say, I disagree. Our justice system is set up, in part, to rehabilitate. If a 13-year-old can’t be rehabilitated, who can?

    It’s also important to note that it is exceedingly rare for young murderers who are not gang affiliated to re-offend.

    Thanks for commenting. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/clayton.knudsen1 Clayton Knudsen

    This is an exact point I have been struggling with. Say two children grow up in an abusive home with both having similar histories. One can use the abuse to better herself, “I grew up in a horrible environment, and I beat it. I can do anything.” The other has her whole psyche ripped to shreds and lives a messed up life. What is the difference between the two? I believe it can be as simple as ONE person believed in the child and showed her it could be better. The other child may have never been reached or had that experience.

    From experience, I had one person that took care of me and showed me that it could be better. There are a multitude of little decisions that I made that would have sent me down a different path. Those poor children just never had a chance.

    I am so glad that I am not on that jury. I would not know how I would actually vote. Give up on him or give him another chance after a long time in therapy. Is he a monster that can never be rehabilitated?

  • Parrot Toes

    Yes, because a TWELVE YEAR OLD CHILD BECOME PREGNANT AS A RESULT OF BEING ASSAULTED BY A TWENTY FIVE YEAR OLD ADULT is absolutely her fault. *eyeroll* Even if she consented, she was too young to have made that decision with an adult.

    By the way, I bolded and capitalized that whole section for ya in case you missed it in the article. If that’s not what happened, well then, you’re just retarded.

  • JohnQknowitall

    Wow. The idea of trying this kid as an adult with the possibility of life (whatever that may mean in the end) without parole is unconscionable, but at the same time I do not want to live in the same city as he does or have anybody I care about (or anyone I don’t even like) in the same unsupervised room with him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clayton.knudsen1 Clayton Knudsen

    I googled Eric Smith. He is a murderer who at 13 killed a four year old. He has been diagnosed with a mental disorder. He has been denied parole at least six times. Is this the rest of that child’s life (in Florida?) Damn shame that the society has never given any of those kids a chance. The 12 year old mother, the murderer, the five year old victim, and the two year old victim.

    Just damn shame.

  • Parrot Toes

    Google Mary Bell.

  • http://tothechest.com Pete Puma

    Thanks, Athena…I always hesitate to do the tough stories with no potential for humor. The pickings were pretty slim today.

  • Parrot Toes

    Another thing, your avatar is fricken cool! I have a fruit fly problem right now, and I saw your avatar on the “recent comment” section and actually swatted my screen. I then scraped it with my finger nail, thinking I got it.

  • Parrot Toes

    Based on what I read in this story, I know how I would vote. Help him, help him, help him.

  • kimbev69

    In my opinion the mom should have faced the toughest charges

  • Athena

    It’s nice to see you in a serious role, on occasion. And you do a much better job at it than Jim Carrey… although I realize that isn’t saying much.

  • http://tothechest.com Pete Puma

    I’d trade my ability to be serious with his if I could make his kind of money. I guess that makes me a whore…nothing I didn’t already know though.

  • 09cupcake

    What a sad story

  • slavesher

    Never. Had. A. Chance. How can you know right from wrong when you have never seen right?

  • Shar G’z

    watch ya mouth homie. I got more avatars that will. make you wish my parents where your girlfriend’s! Fuckin cunt

  • Shar G’z

    In the first place his mom covered for him and lied to the police to protect the little bastard. Shes to blame like I said!!

  • Parrot Toes

    No, she waited 8 hours to take another child that she should have loved to get the much needed help he needed to try to save her ass, not protect one child while letting another die.

    Remember that she was only a child herself when she had a kid. She didn’t get the chance to develop properly either. She is however, getting 30 years, which I think she deserves. I just fail to see how she could possibly be blamed for starting this whole cycle of raising a monster.

    She didn’t have a chance in Hell herself from before this son was conceived with a coke addict for a mother and being raped at 12. This boy didn’t have a chance in Hell from the day he was conceived. But, it didn’t start with her. It either started with the 25 year old who raped her or it started with her mother.

  • Parrot Toes

    Ewww, I’m trembling behind my computer screen. Really I am.

    Seriously though, you do know that I am laughing at you right now right? BTW, the avatar comment was for Clayton, not you genius. That’s way it’s under HIS comment, not yours. You must make your ma and pa proud.

    Jesus, the interwebz bring out the psycho in peeps everywhere. <..>

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennyLane1031 Jennifer N Ryan Lane

    Nope Cali baby :) and I may be harsh but we have to protect the innocent children he could end up hurting, the story stated he already molested others, life in prison may be his only chance at a normal life. he was 13 not 9, I knew what was right and wrong at 13.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennyLane1031 Jennifer N Ryan Lane

    and we don’t need to hear in ten years this kid was released and murdered and molested another child, and then take our anger out on the justice system because they let him out early because of his age during his previous crime, the bigger picture is not his existence and what could have been, its already tarnished and cannot be taken back, its who else would be affected should he be let out. Do we have to risk anothers life to see if he can make it in society or should we keep away in a safe facility that harbors pedophiles such as him.

  • Zazen

    Ever hear the story of Mary Bell? Go look her up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clayton.knudsen1 Clayton Knudsen

    LOL! I hope I am not responsible for your screen.

  • Lemont_Cranston

    Again, I come from a messed up background including armed robbery at twelve. Armed robbery, where someone could have been killed! I grew up to be a functional, intelligent, COMPASSIONATE human being. I could not have become the person I am if the judge thought there was no rehabilitation possible. I would take this boy into our loving home in a heart beat. I do believe he has a future. He told the one person in the world that he thought loved him and could help him and she did nothing! Do not give up on him!

  • shadough

    Anne Perry is another person to google. Now she is a famous author, but in her teens, she and a friend killed the friend’s mother. I refuse to buy her books. But I dunno, this child seems scary. I don’t know if he could be rehabilitated. He had a tough life for sure, but I would hate to see more victims in years to come.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JennyLane1031 Jennifer N Ryan Lane

    than lets assume Manson should be let free if you want to start an argument with Mary Bell, how weak. Ever hear of recidivism of sexual offenders? Go look that up.

  • captaingrumpy

    Our society …WRONG. But he has been let down by his family and the Law Courts. He should be tried as a child and then reviewed after that.

  • captaingrumpy

    Be careful , you are assimilating hi, with your kids maybe. There are Black kids who have killed many at 13.I don’t think you would feel the same way about them.

  • Bill Robinson

    Now, that’d be interesting if an outside attorney filed an amicus brief focusing on the impossibility of the kid getting a fair trial for the very reason he’d never get a jury of peers.

  • http://www.krashthrills.wordpress.com/ Anthony Mandich

    I’m not happy about this story or what has happened to this child. But what the hell do you do with him now? I mean really…what do you physically do with the kid?

  • Parrot Toes

    I’m going to assume that you mean kids in gangs. That is a different scenario than this I think. Peer pressure, gang pressure, ect. ect. makes a different breed of 13 year old killer than this case. Just my opinion.

  • Canuck Gramz

    I rarely comment on this site to tell someone they are rude- because it’s DD and rude usually works, but seriously @shargeez2010:disqus do you kiss your mama with that mouth? Or um fingers? There is never a need to call someone a name like that. Grow up or get off the forums. And while you’re at it, grow some respect.

  • Canuck Gramz

    This is soo sad and so tragic! Three generations broken beyond any fixing! Every child in the story was horribly failed. I’m all for justice and keeping our society safe from monsters, and yes there are some children who are monsters. Like Eric Smith and the two ten year olds who murdered the little boy in England. I googled other child murderers and was horrified that there have been others. These are children! I’d give my life to rescue any child – but are these really children anymore? I don’t know – I sometimes wish the world was more black and white and not full of frightening terrifying acts of violence and evil.

  • tinalib13

    I love this comment. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • sugarpie

    You can try to rehabilitate this young man, and when he turns 18 take the chance of setting him free. Are you going to feel completely comfortable having him living in your neighborhood? I’m guessing you would welcome him with open arms because if not, then you don’t totally believe in rehabilitation. By 13, children do know what death is and this boy had his share of hard lessons in that area. I would hate to put this young man in the same category as all 13 year olds that kill, but the fact is, he did kill and should do the time associated with the crime. I’m not saying you shouldn’t rehabilitate him while he is doing his time because he has absolutely no social skills whatsoever, but he shouldn’t just do a juvenile sentence. Very sad story :(

  • Shar G’z

    READ THE ORIGINAL STORY SHE LIED TO THE POLICE AND HER FAMILY ABOUT WHAT HAPPEND!! I DONT GIVE A DAMN IF SHE WAS RAPED OR AT WHAT AGE SHE HAD HIM, THE PROBLEM STARTED WHEN SHE SAW THE BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS IN THE LITTLE SHIT, AND DIDNT CORRECT THEM OR SEND HIM TO THE PROPER TREATMENT FACILITY. THIS IS MY OPINION, LIKE IT OR NOT ITS HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS SITUATION.

  • Shar G’z

    AND YOU CALL ME A PSYCHO? WHO STARTS SHIT OVER AN ONLINE FORUM? YOU DISRESPECTED ME BY REFFERING TO ME AS A FRUIT FLY, WHEN ITS CLEAR THAT I’M A LITTLE BETTER LOOKING THAN A FRUIT FLY, I MEAN C’MON! YOU WOULD’VE NEVER SAID THAT IF WE WERE HAVING THIS DISCUSSION IN PERSON AND YOU KNOW IT DICK

  • CT

    Watch out or I will make my grandmother your (where’s) girlfriend or something like that. SHe’s 93 BTW and still cute.

  • JohnQknowitall

    I don’t mean this snidely, but would you take this kid into your home to nurture him?

  • JohnQknowitall

    This is actually one of your top 5 write ups. Great job.

  • NY_Mommy

    Really? Just how many black, 13 y/o serial killers do you believe are roaming the streets?

  • JGo555

    WB!

  • Alexxxxxx

    It’s sad and all but he’s never going to get better. And if he ever gets out on parole, he’s just going to be a complete loser relying on our tax dollars. Euthanasia is the only answer.. along with his mother.

  • Parrot Toes

    No, because I have my own family to worry about and I am not trained to deal with his rehabilitation. That doesn’t change the fact that I think he still deserves that chance. Now, if he is rehabilitated, and in say, 10 years from now, I lived next door to him or he ended up as a janitor at my grandchildrens school or something like that, I honestly would be less worried about him than many repeat offenders as adults who go through the system. This kid still has a chance to develop and learn better. Adults don’t “mend” as easily.

  • Parrot Toes

    You make yourself look like an internet psycho. Think what you want, I don’t care. It doesn’t make you right, it only makes you heartless.

  • Parrot Toes

    You are fucking mental lady. The avatar comment about the fruit fly was not for you, it was for Clayton. I already said this. The comment itself is under HIS comment, not yours. Fuck, learn to comprehend and read will ya?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=211600471 Ivan Shi

    Normally I support the full weight of the law to be brought against the criminal, however young. But this is too sad. He needs help. Though I as much doubt he can ever be fit to be released back to society.

  • Gee

    @petepuma:disqus I agree 100% with you. I feel deeply saddened for Christian as he did not have a choice as to the family he was born into. I am sure he would not have chosen to be molested, or see his step father dead, or have a drug addled mother/grand mother. This is just tragic! This child needs serious mental help and should be put in a mental hospital and treated.

  • LuvsHorror

    Damn, this kid needs help, and it’s probably too late. Hope he can get some intense therapy. The five year old too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rochell-Arnold/100000587657456 Rochell Arnold

    This is a very sad case. The child should have remained in foster care because he may have had a better chance at life. I feel so bad for him because he is possibly an inmate than can be reformed. This took place before the kid even reached puberty or was even going through it. Having a child of my own who is at the cusp of that stage I have found that he is very edgy at times and easily frustrated. I pray that this child gets righted after all the wrong that has happened to him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rochell-Arnold/100000587657456 Rochell Arnold

    This won’t be helpful to physically do anything to him. He needs help, he is a kid. Most kids need guidance until they are 18 which is why they aren’t typically release out into the world until then. I hope that he gets the help he needs. So very sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rochell-Arnold/100000587657456 Rochell Arnold

    Exactly my sentiment. Some people are stronger than others. This little man was failed. My son is almost the same age and it kills me to see this boy on trial for this. I am sorry but I would not let a teenager watch my toddler because they are difficult to handle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736546181 Michael Heldman

    Hey, Hey!! Fighting online…really?!? Who does this?…….This is a place for grownup people to exchange mature and intelligent thought proc….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Sorry, I really tried to get through that…Carry on, carry on.

  • tinalib13

    Hmmmm Michael, memories are lighting the corners of my mind… hehehe

  • Athena

    I’m not sure about Florida, but many states keep juveniles until they’re 21. Not a dramatic distinction, but two extra years can make a difference.

    That aside, rehabilitation is not something you “totally believe in” or don’t believe in at all. There’s absolutely nothing so black and white about it. What I would like to see is an adult sentence with no mandatory minimum to be served in a juvenile facility until the maximum age (be it 18 or 21), and I’d like to see his progress assessed annually. Much like the criminally ill or a parole-eligible inmate, he wouldn’t be released until he is deemed healthy, which may be never. But it doesn’t close the door on him, either.

    I don’t agree with “do the crime, do the time” kind of thinking. Having worked with a number of offenders, I know that there are a wide variety of factors that play into crimes, and if those factors are mitigated (through rehabilitation or other means), I see no reason to keep them incarcerated just because of some arbitrary stab at “justice” we’re taking.

  • Athena

    Huh?

  • Gee

    Right on! Sounds fair to me. This kid was a victim as much as the 2 year old brother. He committed a heinous crime and needs rehabilitated but I can not get behind throwing this kid away.

  • KKef

    Sucky thing is, the foundation of a person’s ‘self’ is generally set by age 3. Even though the kid deserves a chance at being aggressively rehabilitated it wouldn’t necessarily increase his chance for success in life. Damn shame. Good job on the story Pete.

  • tinalib13

    What exactly are you “huh-ing” too Athena? There are so many “huh” type comments written by this one.

  • tinalib13

    Well said Zazen!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736546181 Michael Heldman

    Hey, sometimes the arguments are actually entertaining.. Sometimes not so much..

  • Zazen

    Charles Manson was a fully matured adult when he committed his crimes. Different case entirely. Try again.

  • tinalib13

    Amen brother. Or sister. I’m not really sure lol! :-)

  • Athena

    Very accurate opinion. In fact, when data is collected regarding juvenile criminals, gang-related crimes are considered quite separately, as it’s a different and unique set of factors motivating them.

  • tinalib13

    I know. I just like arguing! 😀

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736546181 Michael Heldman

    All ladies do.. 😉

  • slowbutsteady

    What a sad story. I would hate to see what he would do as an actual “adult”…scary stuff. After all the bullshit in this poor kids life, do you think he could actually have a “normal” future?? Maybe he is young enough to be rehabilitated, but I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t want him living near me, that’s for sure!

  • Stormblast

    Wonder if the 12-year-old mom had the option of abortion? She obviously didn’t realize the hardship of taking care of another human being. She probably felt she had no other choice…..

  • Lind Say

    Apparently this was in the apartment complex beside my neighborhood – I never knew until I investigated the story more. It’s a sad story. It’s rough, because obviously he never had a chance but at what magnitude do we hold him responsible? And if he’s not held responsible, what about other child offenders in Jax and all over the world. (Josh Phillips)

  • abbys_mom

    This is complicated and sad for so many reasons. I feel horrible for everyone from the mother who was raped as a child (and who I’m guessing had a childhood not unlike her own son) down to this boy and his brothers. Rehabilitation? I don’t know. It’s nice to say he deserves a chance, that surely between now and 21 he could get help to turn him around (Mary Bell strikes a familiar note with this story…her sociopathic leanings could certainly be considered environmentally induced and she never committed another crime after being released). But you have to also consider the juvenile system. Having been in it myself, from detention to foster homes, and having lived with others who spent a few years in the juvenile prison system (yeah, prison, because I honestly feel “detention” is just a nice way of putting it), I can tell you that for a lot of them, their focus on rehabilitation is about as genuine as the juvenile “boot camps” that you read about where terrible things happen to youth. And those that aren’t abusive are little more than holding cells for youth, until they age out. They put forth big claims of rehabilitation, but a lot of kids who’ve been in them have only become harder…not to mention facing rape and other crimes within that very system. So my feelings are that I don’t see him coming out better in 8 years. I hope I’m wrong, I really would like to be.

  • abbys_mom

    I agree with Parrot Toes…if the mother were currently this boy’s age, there would be as much sympathy for her. I would be surprised if her childhood wasn’t similar to her son’s, and if she’s even fully mentally competent.

  • onlyme356

    Her mom was a drug addict, how could she rely on her mom to help her through something like that when her mom wasn’t taking care of her? It’s not like the girl had the ability to locate an abortion clinic and pay for one on her own. It might have even been the mom’s boyfriend who abused her. That’s usually the situation.

  • http://dalethaltongue.wordpress.com/ My_Mind_Speaks (click my name)

    This story brought tears to my eyes…
    Soooo sad…For everyone involved…

  • onlyme356

    This kid deserved much more than what he was born into. It’s hard to imagine everything he’s been through, we only know what we are reading here. I can’t imagine what an average day for him would be. Also, I can’t understand why his mother wouldn’t get emergency care for th 2 year old? Maybe she wanted him to die?

  • http://www.facebook.com/anitahammitt Anita Hammond

    What a sad and tragic story. The mother never stood any better chance than her son having never to have learned to be a child much less grow up in any kind of normal way learning parenting and coping skills along the way.Common sense would dictate that she at least call 911 for the 2yo which even very young children are taught to do but whose to say she even had normal common sense? There are no simple answers to any part of this case and it baffles me as to why the mother wasnt taken from her home and put in some type of foster care and given parenting classes or in this case adoption for the baby or even an abortion. While I tend to be pro-life this little boy was doomed to have no life at all. A 12 year old mother and a coke addict grandmother who for all we know sold her daughter for her next fix. This is a case of fail and fail again for all the kids involved.Grown men turn there lives around and make something of themselves after committing a crime this child deserves at least that same chance.

  • Gee

    Yeah… I feel a deja vu here myself. It’s like arguing with a door knob. It never make sense. I have learned my lesson, others will too.

  • Gee

    Great comment PT. I believe Mary Bell was released and went on to lead a normal life. I could be mistaken.

  • Gee

    Yes, I beleive society/CPS failed this child terribly!

  • CT

    My huh moment was over the make your girlfriend my parents or make my dog your neighbor or you put your peanut butter in my chocolate comment – what was that again? “make you wish my parents where your girlfriend’s”. I like my versions better

  • Patrick Richardson

    As was stated,the Florida system failed this child now they are trying to cover it up by sending him away forever. Out of sight,out of mind. Since this is Florida,I’m not surprised, as the level of intelligence in the leadership and responsibility categories are on par with the Dark Ages based on the stories coming out of that hell-hole.

  • http://www.facebook.com/weejodie Jodie Woolner

    As much as the boy’s behaviour is abhorrent, his background is responsible.He never had a chance. Of course he has to be punished, but it is a tragic waste of life.So very sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bingotheelectricdingo Stephen Levi Guptill

    13 year olds shouldn’t have to deal with flashbacks.

  • Ninja0980

    As others have said,Christian never had a chance. And the same state agencies that failed to help him and his mother are now going to lock them both up.

  • deadskinmask213

    Damn Pete I thought Morbid wrote this one up. Great job man!

  • BabaPuppe

    We’re evil people for living in reality. What this kid went through is a tragedy, there’s no denying that… but he’s never going to get better. I don’t care if he did a 25 year bid and got out, I wouldn’t want that monster (dammit, I didn’t mean to use that word) anywhere near me or my family… He could claim he’s changed and not the same person all he wants, but he’s too far gone.

  • BabaPuppe

    I do agree that the state should have taken custody, but she’s not completely at fault here… She could have been a better parent than she was (she had 2 or 3 kids!), but you can’t blame her completely.

  • Kwumey .

    dead on accurate assesment.. at first glance I was liek wtf rip this lil punks head off.. but after reading his lrief life story.. he is a product of abuse and neglect himself and in many ways he is just another victim himself being victimizer.. he is young and has a chance of redemption

  • Cheryl

    How can the government put this kid in jail now? Where we’re they when he was found wandering alone as a 2 year old with no one watching over him? They should have started taking care of this boy then, he never should have been returned to his family. The government ignored him while he was being abused, now they are going to take responsibility? That is disgusting. kids just fall through the cracks, it isn’t fair.

  • http://www.facebook.com/precious20000 MzToya Hunt

    What is this world coming to

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachel.a.booth.14 Rachel Anne Booth

    Ok i will get a bunch of venom spewing twat bags giving me shit for this, but i honestly think that this child should not just be realeased. I understand and agree that yes this poor soul has had a very unfortunate life so far. Though we all have to look at it from this point of veiw, if this child is let off scott free with no repremand he will think that what he has done is an acceptable way to handle his anger. What i beleave this child need is not a prison sentence but help, in my opinion i think that maybe he should spend some time in a lock down mental institution til he’s 21 so that he may recieve the treatment he so despritley needs and also so he can be supervised to ensure he wont repeat his actions. I beleave if he does not get help now he will be seen on the news again but for a much worse crime.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shana.de.la.gata Shana Chase Gustafson

    I hate to agree that he’s probably fucked for life. Think Reactive Attachment Disorder. By age 3 if shown no nurturing, love, bonding or even having basic needs ( food, clean diapers, simply being comforted when upset/ hurt) met this can happen and sadly cannot be reversed. Also, empathy, if not learned by about age 7, will not naturally develop. I’m torn. My brain says he can’t be amongst future potential victims. My bleeding heart wonders if there will isn’t a chance for him.

  • Mistress OfSubs

    From a legal standpoint, getting HIM convicted of first degree murder is going to be almost impossible. He clearly did not intend to kill the kid; it is the mother’s fault that the child went without medical attention. Even their own ME said that, had the child received medical attention sooner, he likely would not have died. A thirteen year old cannot drive and, in such an anxiety-driven emergency, the vast majority of children would defer to the advice or decision of their parent or guardian once he or she became involved.

    There are so many other issues I, personally, have with this case, but the glaring inability to justify a first degree murder charge is a good place to start.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lil-Bit/679912203 Lil Bit

    Tragic. Sounds like problems started well before grandma, if she was on cocaine benders and having a 12 year old getting pregnant on her watch. Sadly this kid would be better off euthanized now, before he hurts someone else or before some other person hurts him again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lil-Bit/679912203 Lil Bit

    At a certain point in the brain’s growth, abuse and neglect can physically erode the gray matter – which never grows back in. Those areas control things like loving, attachment, conscience, and guilt. It’s quite possible this kid will never be physically able to feel compassion or a reason to control his urges.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lil-Bit/679912203 Lil Bit

    Dismal but very accurate assessment. *sigh* Sucks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lil-Bit/679912203 Lil Bit

    He’s a year older than his mother was when she had him. So sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lil-Bit/679912203 Lil Bit

    Foster care couldn’t have turned out any worse for him than living with his birth family, that’s for sure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rochell-Arnold/100000587657456 Rochell Arnold

    I agree with that. There are some foster parents that are actually awesome….some of the others don’t necessarily have the best of intentions and that just sucks.

  • Guest

    Rough gene pool

  • NCBrian

    man, and i thought MY older brother was a prick…

  • NCBrian

    holy mother of god i just read that article and i think my soul hurts

  • NCBrian

    what? where are you getting that information? maybe before 13, but certainly not 3.

  • DamagedGoods


    watch ya mouth homie. I got more avatars that will. make you wish my parents where your girlfriend’s! Fuckin cunt”

    What the hell is this supposed to mean? If it’s a threat its one of the most confusing and least threatening I’ve ever heard.

  • Shar G’z

    Ok, I have to explain this comment a little. I THOUGHT he was saying that my avatar looks like a fruit fly so I said, amoung other things, that my steller good looks will make him wish that my parents, the people who conceived me thus making me so good looking, were his girlfriends parents too. because she’s probably very unattractive. or at least not as good looking as me. oh yeah and I called him a cunt too.

  • CT

    Well, you just ruined the fun I have been having by explaining this comment.

    I have learned a few things throughout the years since I’ve been on the Internet probably longer than some of the youngsters on here – if you continuously tell people that you are very attractive, they will think a few things about you – 1) you are full of shit 2) you are a dickhead, twat, whore (that one is for the forum dwellers today) because you insist on constantly telling people you are good looking and/or 3) you are a man pretending to be a woman.

    Because the more you know….OK, I really need to get some work done.

  • Amy

    Wait…why is he charged with murder? According to the doctors the child would have lived if the MOTHER would have taken him to the hospital when she found him instead of waiting 8 1/2 hours. She should be charged with murder because she let the child die…he didn’t. Sure he should get some type of punishment for hurting his brother so badly, but life in prison? I don’t think so. Our justice system is so messed up. This poor child never had a chance at life and never will. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/trjberg Thomas Berg

    I have never understood the US way of reasoning regarding the treatment of children. On one hand they are not allowed to drive, smoke, drink, exercing the first amendment or having sex; on the other hand they are handed punishments like life without parole that other civilized (or any) countrys would never think of.

    For me, and many other outside US, You are either responsible for Your actions or not. If not – You can’t have those sentences, If You are – You should have the same rights as any other adult regarding drinking, driving, have sex etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Leashaness Alicia Lynee’

    Another flaw of the justice system

  • Hayz

    What he did was awful and he should definitely be punished. But looks at the poor kids life! He definitly does not deserve such a harsh punishment! What this boy needs right now it the love and care he needed right from the beginning.