Five of the six teenagers charged with first degree murder in the shooting death last month of a 19-year-old Missouri man at Black Bob Park in Olathe pleaded not guilty Monday before a Johnson County judge.
What happened? The teens, whom the Post is not naming because they are minors, are all charged in the death of Marco Cardino, 19, of Smithville, Missouri, who was shot and killed early on the morning of Saturday, May 14.
- Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe is seeking to try four of the teens who are 14 years old as adults, a relatively rare occurrence in Kansas criminal cases.
- Two other juveniles charged with Cardino’s death are 13 years old and cannot be prosecuted as adults.
- Three of the 14-year-olds and the two 13-year-olds all appeared in person Monday before Judge Brenda Cameron with their attorneys and entered not guilty pleas.
- The sixth teen who did not appear in court Monday has his next court appearance rescheduled for June 15.
Challenging adult prosecution: An attorney for one of the 14-year-olds, a girl, has filed a motion asking the court to impanel a jury to determine whether she should be prosecuted as an adult.
- In the motion, attorney Thomas Bath cites the Kansas Constitution and the U.S. Constitution’s due process clause in claiming prosecutors must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the girl should be tried as an adult even though she was 14 when the alleged crime occurred.
- State data shows trying teens as young as 14 as adults in Kansas criminal cases is exceedingly rare.
More about the man killed: Cardino, the 19-year-old killed in the shooting, was a 2021 Shawnee Mission West High School graduate, according to SMSD records.
- Investigators say Cardino was living in Smithville, Missouri, at the time of his death.
- According to records provided by the district, Cardino attended SM West from March 2018 to graduation in May 2021. Before that, he attended SM South from August 2017 to March 2018.
- Howe has said the shooting was the result of “a purchase of marijuana that went horribly wrong.”
What happens next: The teen who did not appear in court Monday is scheduled to make his next court appearance June 15.
- Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star and other local media have requested copies of the criminal affidavits that serve as the basis for charges against the teens.
- Two of the teens’ lawyers have filed motions seeking to block the release of the documents, according to the Star, with one teen’s attorney arguing the information contained in the affidavits is “sensitive in nature” and that the teen’s family has received threats since the case was filed.
- The 14-year-old girls’ attorney has also filed a motion seeking to “present evidence contrary to the probable cause determination” used in her arrest.