King county prosecutor files charges in Ingraham High School shooting case

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Ingraham High School, where a student was shot to death last week

From the King county prosecutor's office

On Monday afternoon, November 14, 2022 the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed multiple charges in the Ingraham High School shooting case.

The 14-year-old alleged shooter is charged with:
  • Murder In The First Degree (Premeditated)
  • Assault In The First Degree (Firearm, Deadly Weapon, Force)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree (Under 18)
The 15-year-old respondent is charged with:
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree (Under 18)
  • Felony Rendering Criminal Assistance in the First Degree (Non-Relative Helping With Class A Felony)
When 16- and 17-year-olds are charged with murder in the first degree, their cases are automatically filed into adult court pursuant to state law. However, when 14- and 15-year-olds are charged with first-degree murder, the case is initially filed into Juvenile Court and the prosecutor may file a motion requesting a judge to transfer the respondent for adult criminal prosecution. 

This motion must be filed at the time charges are filed and before any hearing is held (such as an arraignment, where an initial plea is entered). This process is governed by state law (RCW 13.40.110). A judge’s decision to move a case from Juvenile Court to adult court is based on the eight Kent Factors.

With the filing of charges Monday, King County prosecutors filed a motion requesting transfer of the murder case from Juvenile Court to adult court (Superior Court).

Separately, the 15-year old’s case will remain in Juvenile Court. It is not possible to move that case to adult court under state law.

A judge will ultimately determine if the 14-year-old’s murder case should be moved to adult court following a hearing. (This is called a Decline Hearing — meaning to decline juvenile jurisdiction for adult court jurisdiction. It does not mean the case is being dismissed.)

The judge’s decision on the appropriate court’s jurisdiction will come later.

If the case were to remain in Juvenile Court, a 14-year-old convicted of murder could remain in Juvenile Rehabilitation custody until his 21st birthday — even in a premeditated First Degree Murder case. That is state law.

In cases where a judge declines Juvenile Court jurisdiction in favor of adult court, that teen is not held in prison with adult populations. If pre-trial detention is ordered, the teen would remain housed at the Child and Family Justice Center. 

In cases where a respondent is sentenced in adult court for a murder committed at age 14, a judge would have full discretion to impose any sentence that the judge deemed to be appropriate; including a sentence of credit for time served. The sentencing judge would not be bound by the standard ranges set by state lawmakers for adults sentenced for a similar offense.

In any event, any confinement ordered at sentencing following a conviction would be served at Juvenile Rehabilitation until the teen is 25 years old, if the judge’s sentence extended to that age.

Neither the 14-year-old respondent nor the 15-year-old respondent had court hearings Monday. Both remain in custody at the Child and Family Justice Center.

The next hearing for both is Tuesday November 15 at the Child and Family Justice Center in Seattle.


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