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Area teen arrested on murder and carjacking charges

Posted on August 11, 2011 3:00 AM EST

Local police officials have announced that they apprehended one of the individuals involved in a carjacking that resulted in the death of a young couple. The double murder occurred in Miami Gardens outside of an establishment called "Mobile Mart". Eric Ellington, 16 years of age, was arrested at his Hollywood home and made his first appearance last week in juvenile court. He was represented by at the hearing by a Miami criminal defense lawyer from the public defender's office, but has since retained private counsel. In non-violent cases, juvenile defendants are either released on their own recognizance or released to their parents. In violent cases, the juvenile justice system can hold a defendant for only 21 days.

The state attorney's office can circumvent the 21 day holding period by binding a defendant over to adult circuit court. In adult court, a defendant can be held indefinitely if he or she is charged with a life felony or a first degree felony punishable by life in prison. In this case, the defendant has been charged with attempted carjacking and second degree murder . The defendant will be held no bond on the murder charge unless the attorney representing the defendant is victorious at an Arthur hearing or can get the state to agree to some sort of bond. Based on the charge, the latter will most likely not occur.

Prevailing at an Arthur hearing will depend on the strength of the evidence. The state has the burden of proving "proof evident, presumption great". If the state meets that burden, they will then have to prove to the judge that the defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community. Considering the nature of the allegations, the state should have no difficulty in demonstrating the latter. If the state cannot establish "proof evident, presumption great", the judge will set a monetary bond and most likely require the defendant to house arrest with a monitor during the pendency of the case.

According to police reports, the enter incident was captured on video surveillance at the gas station. The defendant allegedly jumped out of an SUV and approached the victims. He allegedly pulled the driver out of his car and shot him. Another passenger from the SUV pulled the passenger out of the vehicle and shot her. Police believe there were two other persons in the SUV at the time of the murders. Police reported that they have other suspects and are continuing the investigation, but have only made one arrest to date. If the surveillance video is clear and the defendant made admissions to the arresting officers, it may be time for him to consider providing information as to the other suspects involved in the crime and where they may be located. If the defendant is able to assist authorities in locating the other suspects, he may be able reduce the possible life sentence he is currently facing.

Teen Arrested in Couple's Carjacking Death , NBC Miami.com, August 3, 2011.

Categories: Bond Hearings