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Prosecutors want boy, 12, tried as adult in school killing

Homeland Security Digital Library

A 12-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting his classmate in a South Carolina middle school hallway should be tried as an adult on a murder charge, prosecutors told a judge Monday.

The prosecutors' request to move the case out of Family Court did not include any explanation regarding why the boy should be charged as an adult. Murder carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison in South Carolina. If he is convicted as a juvenile, he couldn't be kept in jail after he turns 22.

Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson was shot during a class change at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville on March 31.

The suspect left school in the chaos but was found hiding under a nearby deck about an hour later and was still armed, investigators said.

No one else was injured.

Greenville County deputies have released little information about what led to the shooting. A one-page police report called it "possibly gang related" but provided no details to back up that idea.

The boy is charged with murder, possession of a firearm at a school and possession of a weapon by someone under 18. He remains at a juvenile prison in Columbia, authorities said. His name has not been released because of his age.

South Carolina law allows anyone of any age to be tried as an adult on a murder charge if a judge allows it.

Jesse Osborne, who was 14 when he shot and killed a first-grader on the playground at Townville Elementary School in September 2016, is serving a life sentence for murder.

Townville is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the Greenville middle school.