Fifth Graders Charged With Murder Conspiracy Are 'Danger to Others'

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Why Fifth Graders Were Charged With Murder Conspiracy

In the state of Washington, a child under the age of 8 is not capable of being charged with a crime because they don't have the capacity to comprehend things and have criminal intent. From ages 8 to 11, that presumption of no capacity exists but can be overcome if the state can provide evidence that proves otherwise.

In this case, the court looked at whether the boys understood the consequences of the act and determined they understood the consequences of what they planned and tried to keep it secret.

If convicted, the boys face a maximum guideline sentence time of about two-and-a-half years, Rasmussen said. However, if the judge finds that the guideline sentence is unjust he can potentially decrease or increase it. Confinement until the age of 21 is the maximum.

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