Family of murder victim says juvenile justice system is failing

Published: Sep. 2, 2013 at 5:46 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2013 at 7:21 PM CDT
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Kino Harris, shot and killed August 28, 2013 (Source: Family members)
Kino Harris, shot and killed August 28, 2013 (Source: Family members)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The family of a murder victim is speaking out because they say the juvenile justice system is failing. Last week 18-year-old Kino Harris was shot to death on Sparta Street in Baton Rouge.

The family of Kino Harris spoke to WAFB Monday and they say he was taking up for his brother last Wednesday when he was fatally shot.

"When they turned to walk off he said the guy said no everything's not fine he don't fight he shoot and just opened fire," said Mona Johnson, Harris' cousin.

Johnson says she went to the juvenile arraignment of the 16-year-old suspect and was shocked when a judge gave him a $100,000 bond. She felt it was too low.

"The juvenile system is basically just a time out a playground. You're showing no remorse, you're mom's happy that she can bond you out, meanwhile, we have to go to a funeral home and bury my little cousin," said Johnson.

Kino had been staying with his aunt Regina lately. She says he was involved in the BRAVE program and he had turned his life around. Regina Jarmon and Kino would pray together and she knew he was on the right path. Kino's murder stunned Regina but when she read a report about a perfect stranger praying with Kino as he died she felt moved.

"To hear that she prayed with him before he took his last breath gave me a peace in my heart. And in spite of it all through that dark time I felt there was a light but I want to meet her and bless her," said Regina.

However, Mona Johnson is still angry about the whole situation.

"You know the guy that did it, he had no remorse. He actually gunned my cousin down like a dog. He shot him in both legs and he couldn't run and he stood over him and he did what he did. It's not the act of a juvenile it's the act of a cold-blooded murderer," said Johnson.

The suspect's name has not been released. It is unclear at this point if he will be tried as an adult, but District Attorney Hillar Moore says it is "very likely" that he will be tried as an adult.

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