State's highest court rules teen to be tried as adult for Fields Corner murder

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that Ernest Watkins IV, charged with first-degree murder for a fatal Fields Corner stabbing in 2012, can be tried as an adult.

Watkins, 14 at the time of Cherby LaJoie's murder outside the Fields Corner Red Line stop, had sought to be tried in juvenile court, which cannot impose a life sentence.

A Superior Court judge denied his motion. The Supreme Judicial Court said the case raised no double-jeopardy questions and that Watkins can be tried as an adult under a state law that sets 14 as the minimum age for adult murder cases.

The court said that if Watkins doesn't like the verdict he gets - he faces life - then he can appeal.

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Complete SJC decision10.11 KB