Connolly justifies keeping 15-year-old accused in 22 car thefts in juvenile court

via Fox 6 Now

MILWAUKEE -- A 15-year-old boy accused in connection with at least 22 car thefts was kept in the juvenile court system against prosecutors' wishes -- a decision that turned heads at Milwaukee's City Hall. It's a decision that prompted harsh criticism from a pair of Milwaukee aldermen.

Milwaukee County Juvenile Judge Gwen Connolly took 45 minutes to lay out her reasoning during the March 31st hearing. Early on, she described the charges against the 15-year-old boy in her court.

"There is no doubt they are disturbing and they are alarming," Judge Connolly said.

"He has never benefited from the full range of services of the juvenile system," Connolly said,"He has not been in either placement of MCAP or Lincoln Hills."

Connolly noted the repeat offenses, including one arrest in a stolen car while allegedly wearing a GPS bracelet from a previous arrest, saying these are signs of serious immaturity.

"This is not unexpected behavior from juveniles who are not receiving or participating in treatment," Judge Connolly said.

Prosecutors say the teen has repeatedly run away from that very treatment in group home settings, returning to crime each time. Their star witness, an MPD youth gangs detective, said the immaturity is what worries him most.  More from Fox 6 Now here > How judge reached her decision to keep 15-year-old accused in 22 car thefts in juvenile court

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