HAMILTON, Ohio -- The case of a Hamilton 14-year-old charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of her father will remain in juvenile court, a Butler County judge ruled today, WCPO news partner the Journal-News reported.
The 14-year-old girl picked up a 9 mm handgun, loaded it and shot her 71-year-old father, James Ponder, in the head, according to police and prosecutors.
The homicide occurred on Feb. 23 at their Millville Avenue home.
Under Ohio law, a 14-year-old is not automatically tried as an adult when charged with serious crimes. It is considered discretionary and must be determined by the court.
Butler County Juvenile Judge Kathleen Romans said Monday that this is a “very serious case,” but she considered the girl’s age and that she has no prior record in her decision.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser had filed a motion requesting the teen’s case be moved to adult court.
Romans again told the media in the courtroom not to show the girl’s face or identify her in any way since the case remains in juvenile court.
The media also was warned by Romans about shooting any video of the girl’s family. There were about 10 family members in court today.
The teen has been in the juvenile detention center for 103 days, and Romans said a report indicated the girl’s behavior has been “exemplary” and the judge urged her to continue acting that way.