TOPEKA — A Shawnee County District Court judge decided to try a 17-year-old attempted robbery suspect as a juvenile, but not before making the alleged gang member look at a graphic photo of an alleged accomplice who was fatally shot in the head by the business owner.
Shawnee County District Judge Joseph Johnson ruled Thursday that Anthony Laverne Marshall III would be tried as a juvenile in connection with the attempted robbery of Cormier Retail Liquor in Topeka last October.
Prosecutors wanted Marshall to be tried as an adult because he has a previous criminal record and belongs to a violent street gang. But Johnson said it wasn't in anyone's best interest to do so.
Marshall was 16 when he and Rickie Loyd Jr., 21, went into the liquor store around 8 p.m. Oct. 19, 2009, and allegedly tried to rob it. The store's owner, Cliff Cormier, shot Marshall in the shoulder and Loyd in the head. Both were armed.
A sheriff's deputy carried an 8-by-10-inch photograph to the defense table where Marshall sat, showing Loyd's head with a large amount of blood around it. Marshall looked at it for about 20 seconds before it was returned to the judge.
"How cool is that? How cool is that?" the judge said to Marshall. "Is that how you want to end up?"
On Wednesday, Topeka police Capt. Ruben Salamanca testified that Marshall and Loyd were members of the Trey 57 Crips, a violent gang with about 100 members in Topeka. He said Marshall had tattoos including "357" and "kill 'em all" by the time he was 15.
Johnson ordered the case to be an "extended juvenile jurisdiction prosecution," meaning Marshall will be sentenced as a juvenile and as an adult, if convicted. That way, Marshall would serve the longer adult sentence if he goes astray while serving the juvenile sentence.
Johnson told Marshall to do his best in the juvenile system, "or you can choose to be like your friend Rickie."
The judge blamed Marshall's parents, both of whom have served time in prison, for the teen's troubles.
"You let your boy down," he told the parents, who were in the courtroom.