Judge Kimberly Koester ruled against a motion from the State to charge a 16-year-old as an adult in the accidental fatal shooting of an Effingham teenager last October. The judges decision means that the defendant in the case will go through the remainder of the case, including sentencing, as a minor
The juvenile is facing charges of Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Discharge, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Burglary. The charges were filed after 16-year-old Kaylee Jacob was shot by a handgun that had been stolen from a vehicle parked in the Lake Sara area. After an extensive investigation authorities believe that the shooting was accidental, and the result of the juvenile being unaware that a bullet was in the chamber of the gun.
Testimony was heard last week on the motion to transfer the case to adult court. Effingham Police Department Detective Scott Volpi, Effingham County Probation Officer Brian Haskenherm, and clinical psychologist Dr. Alexander James were all called to the stand.
Prior to announcing her decision, Judge Koester reviewed the charges in the case and the testimony given during the hearing.
pretrial hearing has now been set for March 16th, with an adjudicatory hearing to follow on April 14th. Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler explained that an adjudicatory hearing is essentially a bench trial for a minor, as a jury trial can only be held in adult court.