Petition To Transfer 14-Year-Old To Juvenile Court Denied

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(Memphis) The attorney for 14-year-old Jonathan Ray, who is charged with murder after his mother was killed in a fire he is accused of setting, was denied the opportunity Wednesday to have his case sent back to juvenile court.

Juvenile court special judge Dan Michael decided in June to transfer Ray's case to criminal court where he would be tried as an adult during hearing.

Michael said it appeared Ray could not be rehabilitated through the juvenile system.

“There was problems with the way the procedure happened in juvenile court, that’s why the department of justice is monitoring juvenile court, it’s not a mistake that they are there,” said Ray’s attorney public defender Rob Gowen Wednesday.

Gowen’s petition was denied by a criminal court judge Jimmy Lammey, who said it was not his decision to make.

Now Ray will have to wait to be indicted by a Shelby county grand jury before the next steps can be taken.

“He has a right to a jury trial here. He can certify the transfer decision as a question of law. We will do that. He has a right to appeal, and ultimately we are going to explore every other option,” said Gowen.