No decision on motion in Fernandez hearing

Published On: Oct 25 2012 11:19:09 AM EDT

Cristian Fernandez talks to his lawyer prior to a Sept. 28 hearing.


No decision was made at a court hearing Thursday on a motion to dismiss the murder charge against 13-year-old Cristian Fernandez.

Defense attorneys asked the judge to order one of the police officers in the investigation be re-deposed.

Earlier this month, Judge Mallory Cooper tentatively set Fernandez's trial for March 4.

Last month, lawyers for the boy asked Cooper to throw out the first-degree murder charge because Florida sentencing guidelines require anyone convicted of that crime to face either the death penalty or life in prison without parole. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this summer that it's unconstitutional for juvenile offenders to get mandatory life sentences.

Prosecutors say that the old Florida law that called for a 25-year-to-life sentence could apply, but defense attorneys say Fernandez should not be tried under the current law because they can't advise their client what kind of sentence he could face.

Fernandez was 12 when he was arrested in March 2011 and charged with killing his 2-year-old half brother. Fernandez also faces a sexual abuse charge involving an attack on a 5-year-old half brother.

The sentencing hearing for Fernandez' mother, Biannela Susana, has been pushed back to Jan. 8. She has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the death of her youngest son and faces 13-30 years in prison.


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