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Man Who Murdered Woman When He Was 12 Gets Controversial News From Judge

A 12-year-old boy was imprisoned for murder, and the victim's family began to work on healing. Now, 9 years later, their wounds are being ripped open by a judge's decision.

DeMarco Harris, a 21-year-old man from Detroit, was released from prison on Monday. The young man has spent his entire youth incarcerated after he was charged with the murder of Trisha Babcock, a 24-year-old girl, when he was only 12 years old. When news of his release was made public, Trisha’s family members begged court officials to keep the young murderer imprisoned for the rest of his life. “It’s excruciating. This crime deserves life in prison,” says Trisha’s father Steven Babcock – who was caught on camera waiting outside a Detroit court and waving a picture of Trisha alongside her death certificate.

Since Harris shot and killed Trish Babcock, he has spent his time imprisoned in a high-security juvenile detention facility. According to the Detroit Free Press, Trisha was shot by Harris during a clumsy robbery attempt.

Harris was later sentenced as a juvenile after being charged with felony murder and armed robbery. Initially, the young boy’s future was uncertain after a jury delivered a hung vote. A second jury vote resulted in Harris being sent to juvenile detention. However, since he was sentenced as a juvenile, state law now dictates that Harris must be released when he reaches his 21st birthday.

During an interview with the Detroit News, Mr. Babcock slammed Harris’ social workers, who recommended the ‘rehabilitated man’s release’ – a view that Mr. Babcock described as a “love fest.”

Trisha’s grandmother, Brenda Babcock, has also blasted the decision to release Harris, saying: “A leopard never does change his spots. This brutal act done by DeMarco Harris should not be overlooked.”

Virgil Smith, a Wayne County Circuit Judge, concluded that Harris did not pose a danger to the community. However, Judge Smith had some important things to says to Harris after granting his release, telling him: “[your] juvenile conviction will follow you the rest of your life.” Judge Smith also added an extra two years of probation on Harris’ conditional release.

In his statement to Judge Smith, Harris pleaded for a second chance, telling the court: “I’m truly apologetic…[I am] a prime example of what rehabilitation looks like.” Social workers at the juvenile facility where Harris was held also testified on his behalf, revealing that, barring a minor outburst, Harris had been a model inmate and spent time completing high school and community college courses.

Jennifer Sloan, who works as a clinical director at Spectrum Juvenile Justice Services, also spoke out in support of Harris, saying: “He owns what he did. He owns how he imagines it impacted everyone involved,” adding that: “Based on the behavior he’s exhibited, I have no reason to believe he would re-offend.”

Unfortunately for Mr. Babcock, the prosecution panel were unable to disprove the claim that Harris was a rehabilitated man: Kym Worthy, the Wayne County Prosecutor, later released an emotional statement about the case, writing: “In the criminal justice system, we are called upon to make difficult and heart-wrenching decisions almost every day. Our decision, in this case, to recommend that the judge forgo any further imprisonment for DeMarco Harris was no exception. We are aware that Ms. Babcock’s father does not agree with the termination and we sympathize with him.”

Source: New York Post
Photo: YouTube

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