Judge denies request for juvenile court in teen murder case - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Judge denies request for juvenile court in teen murder case


A judge denied the motion filed by Autumn Woods' attorney that would have moved her case to juvenile court.

Under Alabama law, anyone 16 years or older who commits a capital offense or a class A felony is automatically tried as an adult. Wood was 17 when she allegedly stabbed 14-year-old Brooklyn Hollins at a Florence house party in 2012. 

Wood's attorney, Jeff Austin, argued that automatically sending her case to adult court violates her constitutional rights. He said this motion is not to minimize what happened, but that his client is simply immature and her brain is not fully developed. 

Austin said young people are different from adults and should be treated that way. He argued that young people are not able to walk away from heated situations and if Wood was a few years older, the outcome would have been different.

District Attorney Chris Connolly said this is a very serious crime. He said Wood committed an adult crime and she should face adult punishment.

WAFF 48 News looked into the major differences between juvenile and adult court. In a juvenile court, there is typically not a jury, just a judge. The main goal in juvenile court is rehabilitation rather than punishment, so sentences are usually not as harsh. 

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