Felony Assault Charge Against 16-Year-Old Will Transfer to Juvenile Court
By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A 16-year-old charged in an assault which left a boy with a broken jaw will not be tried in adult court for the crime.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Robert Sosalla granted a motion Wednesday to transfer the case against Keenan Baker, initially charged in adult court with assault causing serious injury, to juvenile court. Sosalla said based on a report conducted by a juvenile court officer, there was sufficient services and programs through the juvenile system to provide Baker with the appropriate sentence and rehabilitation.
The juvenile report/evaluation is confidential and Sosalla didn't give any details in court.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Nic Scott said he didn't resist the motion based on the juvenile report. Scott said Baker could be sent to the state Boys Training School in Eldora until he's 18.
Baker is accused of assaulting Christian Meek, 15, as Meek walked home from Washington High School with three other boys Aug. 21, according to a criminal complaint. Meek was hospitalized with a broken jaw.
A 15-year-old boy also was charged in the attack but he was charged in juvenile court with one count of assault causing serious injury and two counts of assault causing bodily injury.
According to witnesses and police, four boys were walking home from Washington High School Aug. 21, when they were attacked by two other boys in front of 368 20th St. SE. According to one boy’s mother, one of the assailants yelled “Get off my block,” before her son was punched from behind. Two other boys also suffered injuries from the assault.
According to a criminal complaint, Baker admitted to police the assault wasn't provoked by the alleged victims and that he was "mad at the world."
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said in August he filed a motion to have the 15-year-old tried as an adult, but a judge hasn't ruled in that case.
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