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OPINION: Judge right to keep teen shooting case in circuit court

Hughes County Judge John Brown made a thoughtful and wise decision in ruling that Pierre teenager Braiden McCahren, who is accused of murdering 16-year-old Dalton Williams last year, should proceed to a jury trial next month in circuit court rather than going through the juvenile justice system.

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While the judge also must consider legal issues that are beyond the scope of most citizens who don't practice law, he seemed to have a good handle on the community's concerns when he spoke of the seriousness of the charge, its impact on the community and the families, and the lack of demonstrated remorse on the part of McCahren.

All these are topics that community members, too, have discussed as reasons to keep the case in circuit court and try McCahren as an adult.

Frankly, the other reason is so citizens and media can attend, observe and report, if they choose, how the case is resolved. One teenager from our community is dead. Another is accused of deliberately taking his life. Whether he is found guilty or innocent, the charges against him are not the stuff of juvenile court. They concern us all, and it's right that a jury made up of our citizens should hear this case.

Judge Brown has ruled rightly in steering the case to circuit court. Now let's let the system do its work.

--Pierre Capital Journal