A teenager charged with his grandmother’s murder is now asking to be tried as a juvenile.
The 15-year-old defendant, Hunter Reeser, has been treated for his mental and behavioral disorders for nearly his entire life. But, testimony in court reveals new information that Reeser had titrated off his medication and had missed five consecutive psychiatric evaluations leading up to him pulling the trigger.
Reeser returned to the Erie County Courthouse, this time asking for his case to be transferred to juvenile court. He is accused in the shooting death of his grandmother, Sandra Orton; the crime happening in August of 2016.
Reeser is charged as an adult but his attorney doesn’t think that’s fair. Legal expert John Carlson tells us moving a defendant to juvenile court is determined on a case by case basis. “A judge must weigh a number of factors including the child’s age, the grade of the offense, the impact that the offense has both on the victim and or the community.”
If the case is transferred, Reeser would be released from the system at 21-years-old. Both the defense and prosecution bringing in separate psychologists testifying to the defendant’s abusive childhood and mental condition. One says Reeser is incompetent to stand trial, adding that he shows symptoms of mutism, schizophrenia, and autism. That expert highlighting an evaluation with the defendant when he said he believed someone was holding a gun behind him, telling him he had to kill his grandmother or they would both die.
But, the other psychologist says Reeser is likely fabricating the severeness of his condition to preserve his innocence. This expert telling the judge his chances of rehabilitation by the age of 21 are “negligible at best”.
For now, the attorneys are waiting for the judge to make a decision as to whether or not this case should be transferred.
Experts say often times this process can take around 30 days.