John LaDue, a 17 year old, is a juvenile who is awaiting the results of his certification study to determine whether he will be tried as an adult or as a juvenile for his juvenile crime. He is from Waseca, Minnesota and denied all charges at his first court appearance. He is currently in juvenile court and prosecutors are trying to get him certified as an adult. A certification study was ordered to determine whether he will be tried as an adult. The judge allowed up to 90 days to complete the certification study and the next hearing should be scheduled sometime in July.
LaDue is charged with four counts of attempted murder and six counts of possessing a bomb. He told police he planned to kill his family and attack the Waseca high school. On April 29, 2014, he was arrested in Red Wing in Goodhue County. A 180-page notebook stated that he planned to kill his family and set a fire outside of town so that he could then attack the high school. He allegedly planned to attack the school with guns and bombs during the school’s lunch hour.
What is a Certification Study?
A certification study is made upon a motion, where a social, psychiatric, or psychological studies are ordered for the child charged with a juvenile crime who is the subject of the proceeding. The report looks to public safety considerations under MN Rule 18.06. The court looks to:
(A) the seriousness of the alleged offense or juvenile crime in terms of community protection, including the existence of any aggravating factors recognized by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, the use of a firearm, and the impact on any victim;
(B) the culpability of the child in committing the alleged offense, including the level of the child’s participation in planning and carrying out the offense and the existence of any mitigating factors recognized by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines;
(C) the child’s prior record of delinquency;
(D) the child’s programming history, including the child’s past willingness to participate meaningfully in available programming;
(E) the adequacy of the punishment or programming available in the juvenile crime justice system; and
(F) the dispositional options available for the child.
The seriousness of the alleged offense and the child’s prior record carry more weight than the other factors. The contents of the report are not admissible at trial. A hearing regarding the contents of the study will then be held.
If you have been charged as a juvenile with a juvenile crime and are trying to avoid being certified as an adult, contact Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free consultation. You will need an experienced attorney on your side to contest the contents of the report and to avoid being certified as an adult. Contact , an experienced Minnesota Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney.