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CRIME 15-year-old boy is convicted of murder, robbery



Published: Sat, February 5, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The boy was acquitted of another murder charge.

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A 15-year-old boy accused of killing two men in separate shootings that occurred four days apart last May was convicted Friday of one of the slayings, but acquitted of the other.

A jury deliberated for two days in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court before convicting David Harris of murder, aggravated robbery and using a firearm during the crimes. Harris will remain in custody and could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 22.

Harris was convicted on charges resulting from the shooting of David Hutchinson, 20, but acquitted of charges related to the killing and robbery of George Vance, 27.

Police said the men were slain in unrelated attacks in the city's crime-ridden Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in May. A Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge ruled that Harris, 14 at the time of the deaths, should be tried as an adult.

Prosecutors said they knew of no other case in the county in which someone as young as Harris had been tried on murder charges.

The trial had to be postponed in December after nine witnesses failed to show up in court. Judge Patrick Dinkelacker postponed the trial until Jan. 27 and threatened to jail witnesses who failed to answer subpoenas. Prosecutors said several witnesses appeared to be indifferent to appearing in court.

"They don't think the murders are wrong -- it's just how they deal with problems," assistant prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said then of the reluctant witnesses.




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