Two West Palm Beach area teens are being charged as adults after police found them hiding in a dumpster following a robbery and shooting that left two injured. Christian Williams, 18, and Tashawn Freeman, 14, will both face charges in a criminal court of attempted murder and armed robbery. They are being held by Palm Beach police without bail. A third teen was also arrested in connection with the shooting. However, it is unknown whether or not they will face charges.
Charged as an Adult
It’s rare that teenagers as young as 14 face charges in adult court. But when the crime involves a violent attack, the chances improve exponentially. In this case, you have one 18-year-old and one 14-year-old. The 18-year-old is likely telling the 14-year-old to fall on the sword because a conviction wouldn’t hurt them as bad as it would the older suspect. Meanwhile, the best play for the 14-year-old is to point the finger at the 18-year-old and tell the court that he was pressured to help the older boy rob the couple. Williams was also 17 at the time of his arrest, but if he planned the attack, he would likely be charged as an adult.
The Victims’ Story
One of the men injured told police that his friend was giving him a ride back to Boynton Beach when they had to stop to run an errand. The two men parked behind an Applebees, and that’s when the teens approached and attempted to rob them. The teens entered the backseat of the men’s’ car while a third teen demanded their money. The driver panicked and accelerated the vehicle causing one of the teens to start shooting.
Two deputies in the area heard gunshots and responded quickly. The deputies observed a gray Cadillac driving erratically with its doors opened and two individuals running from the vehicle. Police found two teens hiding in a dumpster. Police said one of the teens confessed to the robbery and said that it was planned.
Attempted First-Degree Murder
In Florida, the crime of attempted murder is charged the same as a successfully executed murder. In this case, the teens placed the men in danger by attempting to rob them. Since none of that would have occurred had the teens not placed the men in danger during a robbery, no one would have been injured. Hence, the teens will not be able to plead self-defense since an illegal act precipitated the shooting.
Since both teens were involved in creating and executing the plan, both can be charged with the same crime. Any defense attorney taking the 14-year-old’s case, however, would attempt to get the charges reduced to juvenile charges on the condition that they provide testimony against the 18-year-old. That might not happen, so the teen could find himself behind bars for the rest of his life.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing serious charges, the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. can help. Call our office immediately and we can begin preparing your defense.