Cases blend world of 2 courts
Rochester case might impact prosecution in Rocori shooting
ST. PAUL -- The way prosecutors handle the case against a teenager charged Friday with second-degree murder in the shooting death of one classmate and the wounding of another in Cold Spring, Minn., may be shaped by the legacy of a Rochester case.
In February 1988, David Brom killed his parents, brother and sister with a long-handled ax while they slept in their Cascade Township home. Brom was 16 at the time, but was tried and convicted as an adult.
John Jason McLaughlin, 15, is charged in this week's shootings at Cold Spring's Rocori High School. He had his first court appearance Friday in Stearns County Family Court.
The Brom case helped give rise to an intermediate option for dealing with violent juvenile offenders that blends elements of the juvenile and adult court systems. The intermediate option is known as extended juvenile jurisdiction, and sometimes is referred to as a "one-more-strike and you're out" law.
Juvenile court jurisdiction ends at 19, and any sentence imposed in juvenile court ends when the offender reaches that age. Extended juvenile jurisdiction extends that age to 21, and adds an adult sentence that is put on hold. If the offender fails to comply with the juvenile sentence or commits another crime before reaching 21, the adult sentence is activated and must be served even if it continues after the offender's 21st birthday.
A juvenile must be at least 14 to be prosecuted as an adult in Minnesota. Juveniles 16 and 17 years old charged with first-degree murder automatically stand trial in adult court.