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12 years later, 14-year-old killer back in court

MIAMI -- A teen sentenced to life in prison for stabbing a classmate to death in a bathroom at Southwood Middle School nearly a decade ago is back in court this week, reports CBS Miami.

Michael Hernandez, 26, was given a mandatory life sentence for the 2004 murder of Jamie Gough. Both were 14 years old at the time. Trial evidence showed Hernandez was obsessed with becoming a serial killer.

On Wednesday, 12 years ago to the day that Gough was killed, a three day hearing got underway to determine a new prison sentence.

During her opening statement, prosecutor Gail Levine told the court that Hernandez a well thought out, well planned killer and is exactly the same person today he was when he was 14, according to CBS Miami news partner The Miami Herald. She's asking for a life term.

The first person to take the stand was former Southwood Middle student Andre Martin, who Hernandez originally planned to kill. Martin testified that Hernandez was "amused" by horror movies, liked music groups with violent lyrics, such as Insane Clown Posse.

"I say more on the violent end of the spectrum," said Martin in describing Hernandez's taste in music.

Martin recalled that at one time Hernandez had told him he wanted to be a serial killer, but he didn't tell anyone because, "As a 13 year old, it's not something you take seriously," according to the Miami Herald.

Martin said he felt Hernandez's original life sentence was just, "I feel like the sentence was fitting of the crime."

Following Martin's testimony, Levine read a letter from the parents of Gough. In the letter, they say have have forgiven Hernandez "spiritually" but don't want him out of prison because, "He is a threat to the community," according to the Miami Herald.

Michael's father, Jesus Hernandez, took the stand and urged the court to release his son because he had changed, "He's a lot better than he was."

Hernandez was then questioned about his son's prison phone calls where he talked about his fascination with serial killers and metal music. In one jail call, Michael Hernandez complained that America had become too politically correct.

"It wouldn't be that was if we had David Duke as president," he said on the call.

Jesus Hernandez was also pressed about his son's personal ad on loveaprisoner.com.

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Jamie Gough. CBS Miami

Prosecutors then introduced prison records which showed Michael Hernandez was disciplined after weapons (two homemade style knives or shanks) and a pipe were found in his cell.

Hernandez attorneys hope to show that he suffers from a mental illness and which should mitigate a life sentence.

The new hearing was mandated because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that juveniles could not automatically be sentenced to life without chance of parole. The decision was later made retroactive to older cases.

Hernandez could still receive a new life sentence but would be eligible for parole after 25 years.

CBS Miami news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.

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