ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) – A northwest Missouri teenager will be tried as an adult in his grandparents’ deaths.
A Buchanan County judge ruled Wednesday that 16-year-old Joseph Johnson will face adult charges in the July 4 deaths of James and Beverly Johnson. Their bodies were found in a home they shared with their grandson east of St. Joseph.
After the ruling, County Prosecutor Dwight Scroggins charged Johnson with two counts of first-degree murder.
The St. Joseph News-Press reports testimony revealed the couple was shot to death and James Johnson showed signs of strangulation.
Juvenile authorities strongly recommended that the case be transferred to adult court, saying the juvenile system is not equipped to handle such severe charges.
Johnson’s attorney argued he was capable of rehabilitation if he stayed in the juvenile system.
Information from: St. Joseph News-Press/St. Joe, Missouri