GREEN RIVER, Wyo. (AP) - A 16-year-old boy accused of driving a van that struck and killed a man will be tried as a juvenile.
Tony James Martinez, 16, of Rock Springs, appeared in 3rd District Court on Monday for a pair of motion hearings.
Martinez is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and failing to stop at an injury accident.
Jimmy Ditton died after being struck by the green van Martinez was allegedly driving in Rock Springs the evening of Jan. 17.
Judge Jere Ryckman on Monday granted Martinez' motion to transfer his case to juvenile court. On a motion to suppress the results of a search warrant, Ryckman said he will issue a ruling within a week.
During the hearings, Martinez' mother, Tammy Krotzer, testified that Martinez got his driver's license just four days before the accident.
She said that while her son had behavior problems in school in April 2002 and in 1997 he is currently an A and B student at the Roosevelt Learning Center.
Sweetwater County prosecutor Harold Moneyhun argued Martinez should be tried as an adult. Under state law, a person who is 17 can be tried as an adult if the case is filed while the suspect is an adult.
Moneyhun said anyone charged with a violent felony can be charged as an adult. But defense attorney Wyatt Skaggs said aggravated vehicular homicide is defined as a crime of recklessness, not of violence.
Ryckman agreed. "I don't see how the court has any options here," he said.
Skaggs questioned whether a search of Martinez' home was done with probable cause.
Skaggs said an affidavit for the warrant said Emily Lison, Martinez' girlfriend, told police that Martinez had been smoking marijuana. But Skaggs said he had not seen a written report on the alleged marijuana use.
Moneyhun said Robinson gathered the information from other officers and the reason Martinez' home was searched is because most marijuana users keep their drug paraphernalia in their home or car or on them.
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