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INDIANAPOLIS– The 14-year-old accused of murdering a man at a Dollar General store made his first court appearance Wednesday.

The robbery and murder at the Cumberland location on East Washington Street occurred the night of Dec. 10. 

He faces three charges: murder, felony murder and robbery. In court, the boy was quiet and polite. His parents sat next to him. Prosecutors asked that the case be waived to adult court. His defense attorney is hoping for a different outcome. 

This case has two major challenges for defense attorney Loren Comstock; the first is trying to keep the case in juvenile court. 

“It would be better than putting a young kid in prison where likely he’s going to learn some things which are not an advantage of society,” Comstock said.

Comstock said the teenager, if processed through the juvenile court system, would not get out of detention when he turns 21 to 22 if he had good behavior.

A judge in the juvenile court will decide whether or not to waive the boy to adult court. 

“What’s best for society may be a waiver, so that’s his (the judge’s) call at this point in time,” Comstock said. 

According to police, the boy was caught on video and a Cumberland Police officer said he witnessed him shoot and kill Gregory Raley, 37. 

The second challenge for Comstock comes in defending the 14-year old. Comstock wants to have his client’s mental health evaluated.

“Insanity, for one. It’s my understanding he had a number of neurological or mental problems over the years. This is from talking to his family,” Comstock said. 

Comstock said he’s also looking at the impact that movies and the internet have had on his client as well as the possibility that the teen was pressured into his actions. 

“There may be the defense of coercion or duress involving a third party, which caused him or contributed to what allegedly was done,” Comstock said.

Another challenge, Comstock said, may become the biggest one and has nothing to do with winning the case. 

“Anytime anyone passes, that’s a sad situation. Particularly if the results can be attributed to a young person,” Comstock said. 

Neither the prosecution or victim’s family wanted to comment. The next court date for the 14-year old is January 15, 2019. 


Story by Elizabeth Choi