PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) A judge ruled Friday that the case of a Pierre teen charged in the murder of another teen will be retained in circuit court instead of being moved into a juvenile court setting. 17-year-old Braiden McCahren is charged in the shooting death of 16-year-old Dalton Williams last December. The shooting occurred at McCahren’s home. McCahren is charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault counts. Authorities allege McCahren pointed a shotgun at another juvenile, who is named by the initials T.Y. and that when the gun was discharged; it hit Williams, who stood between McCahren and T.Y. The number of times McCahren pulled the trigger is in dispute between authorities and defense attorneys, as is whether or not McCahren loaded the firearm before the shooting.
After listening to two days of testimony from witnesses, Judge John Brown ruled on Friday afternoon that the case would stay in adult court and he set the next hearing as a pre-trial conference on October 15. Beadle County States Attorney Mike Moore, who is a special prosecutor in the case, said when asked why he thought the judge ruled as he did-that he would let the judge’s words speak for themselves.
Brown said the crime was a tragedy for all involved-both the victims and defendant-and cited McCahren’s lack of remorse, based on evidence presented in the transfer hearing. He also said that what took place was aggressive, violent and willful.
Moore says the families of Williams and T.Y. have had a tough time since the shooting, but have attended the court hearings. He says now, the trial is the next step in the process.
Defense Attorney Brad Schreiber said Friday that he wouldn’t rule out appealing Friday’s decision to the Supreme Court. Moore said if the decision from the transfer hearing is appealed, it won’t be brought before the state Supreme Court until after next month’s trial is final. McCahren’s trial is currently scheduled to start October 21.
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