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Law Enforcement Today | September 2, 2014

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Twelve Year Old in Jacksonville, Florida Reportedly Kills Brother

Twelve Year Old in Jacksonville, Florida Reportedly Kills Brother
August Vollmer

Cristian Fernandez is the youngest person ever to be charged as an adult in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is 12 years old.  There seems little doubt that Cristian killed his brother, David, age 2, via blunt force trauma to the skull.  Police say Cristian shoved David into a bookcase.  Before you say, “if he acts like an adult, charge him like an adult,” let’s consider some additional facts.

Cristian’s mother, Biannela Susana, was 12 years old herself when she had Cristian.  Twelve years old!  She left Cristian babysitting his younger brother.  Cristian called her after the incident and she returned home.  A forensic examination of the computer in the family home indicated searches for “The Mayo Clinic” and “children with concussions” while she delayed seeking medical attention.  She also apparently searched You Tube, downloaded music, and looked at screen savers.  From 11 a.m. until after 3 p.m., she did not seek medical attention for her dying child.  Physicians stated that little David could have been saved if he had received medical attention sooner.  Ms. Susana has also been charged, but with lesser crimes than her 12 year old son.

What on earth was going on in this extended family that a 12 year old child gave birth and kept custody of her son?    What kind of parenting skills can we expect from a child who has a child? How can we hold a 12 year old more culpable of David’s death than the 25 year old who surfed the Internet while her child was dying instead of calling 911?

The reason that the law considers adulthood to begin at 18 (and 21 for consuming alcohol) is because the brain is still forming prior to that age.   Juveniles in general have difficulty in controlling impulses and in seeing the long-rang consequences of their behavior.  Effective parenting helps children learn to channel their impulses appropriately until brain development and emotional development link with chronological age to bring about maturity.

Judging by Ms. Susana’s age when she gave birth and her own behavior after finding David so severely injured, Cristian’s upbringing has been devoid of appropriate parenting.   She also apparently has other children in the house who have now been taken from her by the state of Florida.  Ms. Susana has had at least a total of four children by age 25.  Her failure to understand how to use birth control is possibly the least heinous thing going on in this household.  We can’t judge Cristian by how WE were raised, but by how HE was raised.

Has justice in our country now come to incarcerating 12 year olds for life who never had a change for a normal existence?    We can’t do a better job of protecting children than this in our society?

Those are my questions.  I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Learn more about this story here:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/19/boy-12-charged-with-murder-as-adult-in-florida/

http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2011-06-02/story/jacksonville-12-year-old-charged-first-degree-murder-brother

Comments

  1. Brothers push/shove each other. Even with the age difference here there is still more info needed. The boy’s been in school 6 years. Does he do this to others at school? How much of a problem is he at school, in the neighborhood? Not saying he should not be held accountable for causing injury (even tho it ened up as a death); however, the mother should be charged with the murder. The 2 yr old was alive, could have been taken to a hospital. Not knowing the extent of the injury, would the 2 yr old recovered in the hospital, etc. Many questions need answered on this. Thus far with what info you’ve given – the mother is the one needing to be charges with murder.

  2. This is horrible. I can only imagine what kind of childhood this kid has had. How can anyone say he deserves the death penalty? He is still a child. He has to account for his actions, but he needs help. He did what he was supposed to do, he called mom. She failed him!! When you leave a 12 year old alone with a 2 year old, you have to know there will be accidents. How can you let your son take the blame? How could you not take your 2 year old to the doctor? How can we say the justice system works when we will charge a child as an adult and let a drug dealer run the streets on probation? As a mother of 3 boys I know how fast a little misunderstanding can turn into a big misunderstanding and escalate from there. In the heat of the moment you never think you are truly going to injure someone…but there is always that possibility. Why didn’t mom come in and assess the situation, see her son needed medical attention, and get him that medical attention. If she had, both her sons would still be with her today and this would have been an unfortunate accident and not a 2 year olds funeral and a 12 year old kids death warrant.

  3. MUCH OF OUR BEHAVIOR, IS GOVERNED BY HIDDEN MOTIVES AND UNCONSCIOUS WISHES. IT IS AS IF A PART OF US NEVER GROWS UP. THE ADULT IN STRUGGLES TO KEEP THE INFANT IN CONTROL, BUT WITH ONLY PARTIAL SUCCESS. “Adult problems could be traced back to childhood experiences.” suggestion; DO NOT JUDGE BOOKS (AND PEOPLE) BY THEIR COVERS

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