Reuters is reporting “a transgender Colorado teen who told investigators he/she planned a deadly shooting at school because he/she was taunted by classmates over his/her gender identity, will stand trial as an adult, a judge in Castle Rock ruled Wednesday.”
Alec McKinney, 16, who was born female but identifies as male, and Devon Erickson, 19, was ordered to stand trial on first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in the May 7 shooting rampage at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, in which one student was killed and eight others wounded.
Kendrick Castillo, 18, was shot to death when he ran toward one of the two assailants in what has been called a heroic effort to stop the shooting and save lives.
McKinney, 16, reportedly later told police that he/she was in a “pre-op transitioning phase” that classmates called him/her “disgusting” and referred to McKinney as a “she.” The suspect said he planned the May 7 attack for weeks, and “wanted the kids at the school to experience bad things, have to suffer from trauma like he had to in his life,” according to the documents obtained by the New York Post.
The prosecution called witnesses who testified that McKinney was manipulative and deceptive and put Castillo’s mother, Maria Castillo, on the stand.
“I don’t have a life, (Kendrick) was my life,” she said. ” … my life is over.”
Defense attorneys tried to move the case to juvenile court, citing McKinney’s mental health issues and a troubled childhood that included witnessing domestic violence.
In issuing a seven-page ruling on Wednesday, Douglas County District Judge Jeffrey Holmes acknowledged that the defendant had suffered “serious trauma,” but declined to move the case.
“Based on the totality of the evidence before it, the Court finds that it is has not been proved that the juvenile and the community would be better served by transferring this case to juvenile court,” Holmes wrote.
If convicted , McKinney faces up to 40 years in prison. Had he/she been tried as a juvenile, the maximum sentence was seven years.