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Name: Rene C. v. Superior Court
Case #: B185904
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/27/2006

A mentally retarded and immature 14-year-old with no prior record should be tried as a juvenile. The minor took part in an altercation between rival gang tagging crews which resulted in the death of one gang member and injury to another. The minor was charged with murder, attempted murder, and assault with a firearm. During the fitness hearing, a psychologist reported that the minor suffered from congenital brain dysfunction and mild mental retardation. The psychologist also testified that the minor’s role in the crimes was passive and that the minor’s mental state was akin to that of an eight-year-old. Despite the report, the juvenile court found the minor unfit to be tried as a juvenile due to the gravity of the charges. The appellate court reversed, finding that the minor had rebutted the presumption that a child over the age of 14 who commits a Welfare and Institutions Code section 707(b) offense is unfit to be tried as a juvenile.