Ten year old Tristen Kurilla, a fifth grader, is being charged with criminal homicide, as an adult. The boy, who is charged with killing a 90 year old woman, is being held at the Wayne County Correctional Facility, but is separated from adult offenders. In today’s blog your Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys provide some details about this tragic story.
The news of the death first broke on Tuesday night when according to an affidavit filed by the police, the boy “admitted to grabbing a wooden cane, holding it against 90-year-old Helen Novak’s throat for several seconds and punching her in the throat and stomach.” The boy, however, stated that his intent was not to kill the woman, but only to hurt her because she had yelled at him.
The boy was ordered to be held without bail after his arraignment and is set to appear in court October 22. Bernard Brown, the boy’s Pennsylvania Criminal Defense lawyer, said he was petitioning the court to get the child out of jail, stating to reporters that Tristen “really kind of doesn’t have an idea of what is going on.” The lawyer will also need to decide if he should petition the judge to transfer the case to the juvenile court, but to date that has not happened.
The reason that Tristen is being charged as an adult in this case is because of Pennsylvania criminal law. The Wayne County district attorney who is prosecuting this case stated to reporters that under PA law, “a criminal homicide charge [must] be first directly filed in adult court…regardless of the age of the perpetrator.” Further, regarding the reason the boy is being held in an adult correctional facility, she cited this same law. Due to this law, a juvenile detention center cannot accept a child charged with homicide.
If you have been charged with a violation of Pennsylvania criminal law, including assault, homicide, DUI, or any other criminal offense, contact our Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our firm has offices all over Western Pennsylvania and will provide you with the legal representation needed to ensure that your rights are protected. Don’t delay in seeking the representation you need, contact our office today.
For more information about this tragic case, check out the full report on CNN.com