By Tim Redmond
On June 24, 2103, an SUV pulled up near a Muni shelter at West Point Road and Middle Point Road in Hunters Point. According to video images later collected by the police, someone got out of the vehicle, and, standing near the rear of it, fired 23 shots with a 9 millimeter gun into the shelter, killing Jaquan Rice, 19, and injuring his 17-year-old girlfriend.
The shooting may have been gang-related, although police still aren’t sure of a motive. But they’re convinced that Derrick Hunter, 19, and a 14-year-old we’ll call Q, were in the car, and they, along with Lee Sullivan, 22, are charged with murder, conspiracy, and a series of related felonies.
And despite what can only be called shaky evidence, presented by two homicide officers whose actions were unorthodox, and whose accounts were sometimes contradictory and often strained credulity, Judge Andrew Cheng ruled Jan. 3 that Q should be held for trial – as an adult.
That’s right: In San Francisco, where the district attorney claims to be a progressive, seeking humane approaches to criminal justice, a 14-year-old boy is facing hard time — as an adult.
“I don’t think that’s ever happened in San Francisco,” public defender Jeff Adachi told me. “At the very least, it’s extremely rare. And it’s outrageous that this child would be tried as an adult.” (more after the jump)