Details Sparse in Carjacking Charges

Meridian, Miss. More than a week after accusing two boys of armed robbery and carjacking, the victim is pressing charges. The case was controversial because although police said they wanted to press charges, they were unable to do so until the victim took the steps to pursue the case further.

"If they rewrote the law and said that we can charge them, I can assure you we would charge them," Captain Harper told Newscenter 11 on Aug. 23.

Attorney Bill Ready, Sr., said the laws make enforcement such as this a challenge for police officers.

"It's very complicated for a policeman," Ready said. "They can't do anything because they must act within the law, and if the law is twisted, then they've got to stop the crime on the street, but then they must stand still."

Meridian police have not said what the boys will be charged with or how they are being charged. However, police have previously stated that either could be charged with a felony. The 14-year-old could be charged as an adult, even though he is a juvenile.

According to Mississippi legislation, 13 is the cutoff age. Only a judge can determine whether the 14-year-old should be tried as an adult. The 12-year-old will automatically be sent through the juvenile court system, but if the victim chooses, she can also request that the 12-year-old be tried as an adult, as well.

"If the act is violent enough and dangerous to another person, then the judge, either the juvenile court judge or the circuit court judge, can determine that it was such a dangerous act that this person, a child, must be charged or may be charged as an adult," Ready said.

The judge must make a decision before the trial.