BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A Dorchester 14-year-old pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter in the shooting death of his 9-year-old brother.
Juanly Pena, now 15, was charged as a youthful offender in the Feb. 7 shooting in their home.
The Suffolk District Attorney’s Office said that Pena was sentenced to DYS custody until he turns 21, with a three-year state prison sentence suspended until he reaches the age of 24.
Prosecutors said Pena pointed a handgun at his brother Janmarcos’ chest from two to three feet away and thinking the gun was unloaded, pulled the trigger killing him.
“We completely accept this was an accident,” District Attorney Dan Conley said.
Pena’s attorney, Michael Doolin called him, “a 15-year-old young man who made a terrible, terrible mistake,”
Pena was indicted by a grand jury in April as a youthful offender, which opened court proceedings to the public and subjected him to possible punishment as an adult.
He also pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.
If Pena obtains a GED and/or a job, undergoes a mental health evaluation and treatment, stays away from gang members, and is not charged with another crime, he will not serve the prison sentence, the district attorney’s office reported. Otherwise, he could be ordered to serve a three-year sentence as an adult.
Prosecutor Ian Polumbaum said Pena acquired the gun to protect himself from gang members in the neighborhood. Pena was on a “bad spiral” at the time, having stopped going to school after getting in trouble with the law, Polumbaum said.
After the shooting, Juanly Pena started to call 911 but instead told his sister to call. He then left the house with the gun but was stopped nearby by police, still carrying the weapon, authorities said.
Pena has never been honest with authorities about how he got the gun, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office said.
The boy had the support of his mother and older sister, Doolin said.
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