Kid Convict Awaits Sentence

A Pontiac, Michigan judge will weigh psychological and staff reports in order to determine whether to sentence thirteen-year-old Nathaniel Abraham as an adult or a child after his conviction on a second-degree murder charge.

Abraham — the youngest person in modern times to be convicted of murder — was found guilty of firing the gun that killed 18-year-old Ronnie Greene Jr. two years ago. Abraham was 11 years old at the time.

Prosecutors said Abraham bragged about going out to shoot someone, but his lawyers argued he was just playing with the gun.

The teen could get a maximum of life in prison with a chance of parole or he could be sentenced as a juvenile to time already served, or held until his 21st birthday.

Prosecutors said they would recommend a blended sentence, keeping him imprisoned until at least age 21 and then reviewing his case to determine whether he has been rehabilitated.


CBS
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor John Skrzynski

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor John Skrzynski told CBS Early Show Jane Clayson, "We didn't try to put him behind bars for life. It wasn't our intention to throw his life away."

Skrzynski said Abraham would attend educational programs, anger management programs, psychological programs and job training programs.

"He's going to be treated like a kid who needs help," Skrzynski said.

Meanwhile, defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger insisted that Abraham did not have the ability to form the criminal intent to commit murder. He said the rest of the civilized world has condemned this prosecution as an abuse of human rights.


CBS
Defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger

"Why in America we've turned so mean and angry and vindictive is incomprehensible," Fieger said. "What we've done is not going to help the society one bit."

Jury foreman Daniel Stolz told reporters that he "knew the firearm was dangerous and that it could cause harm. Ronnie Greene was standing there, and the gun just doesn't raise itself automatically."

The case gained widespread attention as Abraham became the first youth to be charged with first-degree murder and tried as an adult under a January 1997 Mchigan law that allows adult prosecutions of children of any age in certain serious felony cases.

Judge Eugene Arthur Moore will sentence Abraham on Dec. 14.