JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Lawyers for a Jacksonville teen charged with first-degree murder are trying to get the charge dismissed.
Cristian Fernandez, who was 12 when he was arrested and charged with killing his 2-year-old half-brother, is in court Friday.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this summer that it’s unconstitutional for juvenile offenders to get mandatory life sentences without parole _ which is currently the only sentence available for juvenile offenders if convicted in Florida.
Prosecutors say that the old Florida law that called for a 25-year-to-life sentence could apply.
Because of that, Fernandez’ defense attorneys say they can’t advise their client what kind of sentence he could face. Another complication involves whether Fernandez understood his rights during police interrogations.
Court records show Fernandez suffered from years of abuse