CHICAGO (STMW) - A teenage girl accused of killing 14-year-old Endia Martin won’t be tried as an adult, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Cook County juvenile court Judge Rodney Hughes Brooks said Tuesday he considered the seriousness of the offense but also took into account that the 15-year-old was never in trouble before the shooting on April 28, 2014.
Brooks also noted, as defense attorneys had argued, that the girl only fired her weapon after she was egged on by an aunt, who told her to “shoot the bitch,” and Donnell Flora, an uncle, who allegedly gave her the gun.
The incident in the 900 block of West Garfield Boulevard was “mutual combat that morphed into a tragedy with adult intervention,” Brooks said.
Brooks also denied prosecutors’ motion to move forward with the case through a measure called extended juvenile jurisdiction, which would make the girl subject to an adult sentence if she failed to complete her juvenile sentence satisfactorily.
Assistant State’s Attorney Athena Farmakis said the accused minor, then 14, shot Endia in the back and another teenage girl after a long-standing feud on social media. She even advertised about how she was going “beat some ass,” Farmakis said.
“She may look young. She may look impressionable. But she had no problem raising the firearm and shooting it. … She sought it out,” Farmakis said of the girl, who wore a floral dress and glittery black flats in court.
Farmakis also pointed out that the girl has received over three dozen “time outs” and two major infractions since she was taken into custody.
But Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Tarzia noted that the teenager has mostly gotten in trouble for taking long showers, talking back to staff and horseplay.
A chaplain at the juvenile center has said that the girl has expressed “remorse and regret.” She is also a straight-A student, ranks second academically among her 115 peers at the detention center and hopes to be a nurse someday, assistant public defenders said in arguing that she is a perfect candidate for rehabilitation.
Tarzia said the young defendant was jumped by Endia and her friends days before the deadly shooting and felt threatened by the messages they posted on Facebook. Some of the notes the girl’s enemies wrote included, “Bitch, you’re going to die” and “You want Round 2?” Tarzia said.
Endia and the other girl, who suffered graze a wound in the shooting, were ready to fight that day as they ran out in their bras, Tarzia said. At least one of the accused shooter’s rivals had a padlock attached to a string in the “girl fight” that was captured by an onlooker’s cellphone camera, according to court testimony.
The girl, whose father was killed and grew up surrounded by domestic abuse, was reluctant to fire, Tarzia said.
She only fired when prompted by her relatives, including Flora, who the girl saw get shot when she was 10 years old, Tarzia said.
It was “a perfect storm for a young teen brain,” said Tarzia, adding that with cognitive behavioral and family therapy, the girl would grow up to be a productive member of society.
Flora, 27, is awaiting trial for his role in the crime.
A teenage boy who hid the murder weapon was given probation.