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Hearing will decide if Pierre teen tried as adult

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE (AP) -- At least seven people have been called to testify at a hearing to decide whether a Pierre teen accused of killing a classmate should stand trial as an adult or have his case decided in juvenile court.

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Among those expected to testify during the two-day hearing that starts today in Hughes County Court are several juveniles, KCCR-AM reported Wednesday.

Braiden McCahren, 17, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the Dec. 18 shooting death of Dalton Williams, 16.

McCahren is accused of shooting Williams with a shotgun after first pointing the weapon at another 16-year-old boy following an argument about a paintball game.

McCahren's trial is scheduled to start Oct. 21, but that would be called off if he's treated as a juvenile.

Prosecutor Mike Moore told KOKK-AM that if the case is moved to the juvenile system, the state could hold him in custody only until he turns 21. But McCahren could face life in prison if convicted of murder in adult court.

In June, Judge John Brown rejected a defense request to suppress findings of a psychological evaluation done of McCahren.

McCahren's attorneys had argued that psychologists went too far in their examination by discussing events surrounding the shooting, and that McCahren's constitutional rights were violated. At that time, Brown ruled the evaluation could be used during the transfer hearing.

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