Community outraged that 10-year-old boy is charged as an adult after allegedly killing his mom

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Some members of the Milwaukee community spoke out Tuesday about the need to transform the criminal justice system in light of a 10-year-old being charged as an adult after he allegedly admitted to fatally shooting his mother.

Many speakers talked about how broken the criminal justice system is and how treating a 10-year-old boy as an adult for an alleged homicide he committed, is something incomprehensible.

"We look at the brain science of adolescence and need to treat children as exactly who they are: children," said Sharlen Moore, the executive director at Urban Underground. She said this case involving a 10-year-old boy is a glaring magnifying glass on Wisconsin's justice system.

"Based on original jurisdiction, youth who commit homicide are automatically charged as an adult," she added.

The criminal complaint described the child originally stated he was "twirling the gun around on his finger" and then it "accidentally went off," after his mom supposedly woke him up early and refused to buy him something online. In a later interview with authorities, the child reportedly admitted that he was not twirling the gun around when he shot his mom.

The criminal complaint states that multiple family members have been concerned with his behavior, as he "has had 'rage issues' all of his life" and often "becomes very angry and acts out."

Legal expert Jonathan LaVoy said it is incredibly rare that a child be charged as an adult, and it is likely that the child's attorney(s) will file a reverse waiver--meaning they will need to prove that he is better served in the juvenile court system.

"That's what the judge is going to be making a determination (on)," LaVoy said. "Is the adult system able to provide adequate services to this child? Is there going to be mental health treatment, is there going to be adequate assessments? And the answer is no, there's not."

Dominee Meek was sentenced as an adult to life in prison at the age of 15. After serving 28 years in prison, he was given a second chance at life in September 2020 and is now a lead advocate for troubled youth. He teared up when CBS 58 News asked what an adult sentence would mean for the boy.

"This is our child; you know what I'm saying? This is our child, this is a kid, he's not an adult, so what would it mean? It would mean that we would tell this child that you aren't worth anything, you are giving up on a child, you are saying that you can never be anything," Meek said.

It is likely that the judge will ask that the boy's mental state be evaluated in the coming days. As it currently stands, the minor faces up to 60 years in prison.

The boy is due in court Wednesday afternoon for a status hearing.

There is still a chance he will not be charged as an adult in his trial.

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