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Maddy Middleton’s accused killer cannot be tried as adult, state Supreme Court rules


The California State Supreme Court has issued its ruling on Senate Bill 1391, which was challenged in the case of Adrian “A.J.” Gonzalez, the accused killer of 8-year-old Madyson “Maddy” Middleton. In a written opinion issued on Thursday, the court stated that SB 1391 was constitutional. The law, which went into effect in 2019, prevents anyone under the age of 16 years old being tried as an adult. The Middleton Family released a statement after the supreme court ruling. “The decision by the California Supreme Court that SB 1391 is constitutional is absolutely disappointing to our family. We have thought long and hard about what we desire from the justice system in regards to this case. No punishment can ever undo what was done or bring our beloved Maddy back to us. However, at the very least, it is our hope that this act does not happen again. We believe that the heinous nature of the crime, level of sophistication and manipulation, planning and cover-up indicates all of the characteristics of a psychopathic killer, who needs to be kept away from our children and society. It is our firm belief that the California Juvenile Justice System, as it exists today, is not capable of adequately dealing with this type of individual. For us, the worst has already happened. We will now see where this path leads,” said Dan Middleton, Madyson’s grandfather.A.J., who is now 21 but was 15-years-old at the time of the crime, allegedly raped and murdered Maddy, could now go free when he turns 25. VIDEO: Mother says daughter was riding scooter when she disappearedIn 2019 SB 1391 was ruled unconstitutional by a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge before it was taken to the state supreme court. In 2020, lawyers argued before the state supreme court on the constitutionality of the law. Some argue it’s unconstitutional because it overrides the will of the voters who passed Proposition 57 allowing judges not prosecutors to decide whether minors, including 14 and 15 year olds, should be tried as adults.PHOTOS: The Santa Cruz Madyson Middleton case“We believe that the California juvenile system, as it stands today, cannot deal with a person such as Adrian Gonzalez we feel that he has to remain in the adult system in order to take care of him. He is not an innocent child that should be coming out when he’s 25 years old,” said Dan Middleton, Maddy’s grandfather, in an interview with KSBW 8 in November 2020. PHOTOS: The search for Madyson MiddletonBut supporters of SB 1391 argue that prosecutors are politicizing the law and they say juvenile offenders no matter how egregious the crime they allegedly commit should remain in juvenile court where they qualify for release at age 25.Gonzalez remains behind bars in the Santa Cruz County jail.Read the Supreme Court of California ruling, here. — Video from a previous broadcast.

The California State Supreme Court has issued its ruling on Senate Bill 1391, which was challenged in the case of Adrian “A.J.” Gonzalez, the accused killer of 8-year-old Madyson “Maddy” Middleton.

In a written opinion issued on Thursday, the court stated that SB 1391 was constitutional. The law, which went into effect in 2019, prevents anyone under the age of 16 years old being tried as an adult.

The Middleton Family released a statement after the supreme court ruling.

“The decision by the California Supreme Court that SB 1391 is constitutional is absolutely disappointing to our family. We have thought long and hard about what we desire from the justice system in regards to this case. No punishment can ever undo what was done or bring our beloved Maddy back to us. However, at the very least, it is our hope that this act does not happen again. We believe that the heinous nature of the crime, level of sophistication and manipulation, planning and cover-up indicates all of the characteristics of a psychopathic killer, who needs to be kept away from our children and…



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