Jeremiah Bourgeois, 28, of Seattle, has been in prison since age 14 for fatally shooting a store owner who had testified against his brother in a robbery trial, reports the Seattle Times. He had never spent one night in juvenile detention before the shooting, but he was charged as an adult with aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A pending Washington State proposal to give judges more flexibility in sentencing teens who are tried as adults, but it would have no effect on aggravated murder cases like Bourgeois’. His fate will be to grow old and die in prison. Bourgeois was “probably the saddest case I’ve ever had” both for the defendant’s age and the length of the sentence, said his attorney Michael Trickey, now a judge. The Times describes how Bourgeois ended up in prison and what his life there is like.