A Tulsa County judge denied a request made by 15-year-old murder suspect to be tried as a youthful offender, Friday, Oct. 25.According to court documents acquired on Oklahoma State Courts Network, Joshua Mooney will be tried as an adult for the December 2012 murder of 47-year-old Mary Escue.
In June, Mooney was bound over as a youthful offender instead of being tried as an adult. If Mooney was convicted as a youthful offender, the Office of Juvenile Affairs would have been given custody of Mooney. After he turned 18, he could be released or moved to adult prison.
Youthful offender status is harsher than juvenile status but still allows the youth the opportunity to be freed at 18. Youthful offenders cannot be sentenced to life in prison on a murder charge.
The court documents review seven criteria points that were relevant in the decision to count Mooney as an adult offender.
- Whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful manner.
- Whether the offense was against persons, and, if personal injury resulted, the degree of personal injury.
- The record and past history of the accused person, including previous contacts with law enforcement agencies and juvenile or criminal courts, prior periods of probation and commitments to juvenile institutions.
- The sophistication and maturity of the accused person and the capability of distinguishing right from wrong as determined by consideration of the person's psychological evaluation, home, environmental situation, emotional attitude and pattern of living.
- The prospects for adequate protection of the public if the accused is processed through the youthful offender system.
- The reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation of the accused person if such person is found to have committed the alleged offense, by the use of procedures and facilities currently available to the court.
- Whether the offense occurred while the accused person was escaping or on escape status from an institution for youthful offenders or delinquent children.
Tulsa County deputies arrested Mooney and two others on Dec. 18. Mooney was questioned, and according to arrest documents, told investigators what happened with his mother's permission.
Mooney admitted to breaking into a the home of Escue's parents near 400 E 111th Street. He was looking for money and came across a small collection of guns.
Escue came home and surprised Mooney. According to the report, Mooney told investigators that he got scared and hid in the kitchen, holding a .22 caliber rifle.
The report states that Mooney surprised Escue and forced her into a nearby room where he held the gun to her head and pulled the trigger.