Officials explain how kids can face lengthy arrest records
BATON ROUGE - Getting a handle on kids that break the law can be a challenge for law enforcement, especially for kids that continue to get into trouble.
However, if they've been arrested more than 50 times like sheriff's deputies said Marcus Ester was, it can be even more of a challenge. Ester is just one suspect charged with the murder of 15-year-old Brandon Augusta in Donaldsonville on Aug. 9, 2014. Although he's now an adult investigators said Ester, as well as two other juveniles, have had an extensive list of charges as a minor.
"The two juveniles were being brought back were locked up regrettably not on August 9," said Ascension Sheriff Jeff Wiley.
East Baton Rouge Juvenile Chief Curtis Nelson has worked with the juvenile system for more than ten years. Although he's handled many court cases, he says a juvenile getting arrested more than 50 times isn't impossible.
"I have literally had cases where a juvenile went to an apartment complex and went to every car at that apartment complex and so for every car they make an attempt to burglarize that is one separate count," said Curtis Nelson, East Baton Rouge Juvenile Chief. "So, when the file comes in you have this juvenile with 30 arrests, but it's 30 separate cars."
Officials say there could be a number of reasons which could cause a juvenile that has been in trouble with the law to released back on the streets. Officials say one of the reasons is when it comes to the juvenile court by law a trial must happen within 90 days. If there's a problem the defense attorney can argue to dismiss the trial if the state fails to prosecute within that time frame.
"Those cases you have to dismiss sometimes you have victims that say I'm afraid and they won't come forward and you have to dismiss those cases," said Nelson.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said it's waiting on the District Attorney to see if they will be charged as adults.