14-year-old charged as an adult in robbery-homicide

News-DemocratMay 10, 2013 

— A 14-year-old boy will now face murder charges in Madison County as an adult.

Mylan T. Newbern, 14, was originally charged as a juvenile in the death of Charles Weiss on Nov. 8, 2012. A recent ruling in juvenile court has transferred his case to adult criminal court, officials announced Friday.

Weiss, 54, was found shot in an alley near a friend's house, where he had been heading after a trip to a convenience store. Before he succumbed to his injuries, Weiss told police that "they tried to rob me."

Three Madison teenagers were charged a few days later with two counts of first-degree murder: Markeith Reynolds Jr., Shawn Russel and Brian L. Taylor. All were age 16 or younger at the time.

But police believe that Newbern is the one who actually shot Weiss, according to the Madison County State's Attorney's office.

At the time the other teenagers were charged, officials said a fourth juvenile was in custody at the Madison County Juvenile Detention Home pending a certification hearing to determine if he would be tried as an adult.

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said it was always their intention to charge Newbern as an adult. But in a case of first-degree murder with a defendant under age 15, he said, there is a process that must be followed in juvenile court to determine whether it is appropriate. Factors such as prior criminal behavior, family issues and mental health history are considered, he said.

"There are substantial factors in the defendant's past that have helped us determine how to proceed," Gibbons said, though he declined to elaborate on those factors.

Newbern is charged with first-degree murder, residential burglary and attempted armed robbery. If convicted on the murder charge, Newbern would serve 20 to 60 years in prison and would have to serve 100 percent of the sentence. The other charges carry four to 15 years in prison, of which he would have to serve 50 percent.

Newbern is being held without bail.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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