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toi_ama
09-13-2003, 11:25 AM
Judge says teen will stand trial as adult in fatal shooting

By The Associated Press - 09/13/03

BILLLINGS (AP) — A judge here has ruled that a 15-year-old boy charged in the fatal shooting of a friend will stand trial as an adult.

Judge G. Todd Baugh said attorneys for Gregory Williams failed to prove the murder case should be handled in Youth Court.

‘‘The preponderance of the evidence totally fails to establish that the nature of the offense charged does not warrant prosecution in district court,'' the judge said in the two-page ruling released Thursday.

At a hearing before Baugh on Tuesday, Williams' attorneys Penny Strong and Betty Carlson described the July 17 death of 15-year-old William Grisham Jr. as a tragic accident. Grisham died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

The attorneys argued that Williams did not intend to kill Grisham and should not be tried as an adult for murder.

Prosecutors, however, say Williams shot Grisham at close range with a stolen handgun in Williams' bedroom. They contend he and another 15-year-old boy, Christopher Hoyt, then hid the gun and carried the mortally wounded Grisham out of the house and put him in a neighbor's yard before seeking help.

Authorities say Grisham was dead by the time medical aid arrived, and that Williams and Hoyt initially said the boy had been shot during a drive-by shooting.

The two boys later told detectives that the shooting happened in Williams' bedroom while the teens were playing with two stolen guns, prosecutors said.

Williams was charged as an adult with murder and tampering with evidence. He is being held in a youth detention facility on $100,000 bail.

Hoyt was charged as a juvenile with felony burglary and tampering with evidence. He also was charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and making a false report to police.

Hoyt was arraigned Sept. 5 in Youth Court and pleaded guilty to all charges. He will be sentenced later and remains in custody at a youth detention facility.