Six Massachusetts Boys Who Pleaded Not Guilty to Beating Guatemalan Immigrant Could End Up in Department of Youth Services

The parents of three of the six boys charged with severely beating a 30-year-old Guatemalan illegal immigrant are appealing school suspensions that have been imposed on their kids over the alleged Massachusetts assault incident. In Massachusetts, school principals are allowed to suspend a student who has been charged with a felony crime.

The boys, in addition to two others, are accused of throwing bricks, rocks, and bottles at Damian Merida while he slept near railroad tracks in Lynn last July. Merida sustained serious head injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.

The charges against the boys include attempted murder, civil rights violations, and assault with intent to maim. Five of the boys have been released from custody for now but are required to wear electronic monitoring bracelets. Police claim that the boys attacked Merida because of his ethnicity.

Because of the boys’ ages, their names have not been made public. Four of the boys are members of the Pop Warner football teams. One boy is a soccer star who came from West Africa.

Five of the boys are younger than 14 and therefore won’t be tried for the alleged assault crime in adult criminal court. Instead, their cases will have to be pursed in Massachusetts juvenile court. However, the boys could end up in the Department of Youth Services until their 18th birthdays if they are found guilty. The 14-year-old suspect could end up in DYS until his 21st birthday. The Essex district attorney’s office is considering whether to try the oldest boy’s Lynn, Massachusetts criminal case in adult court.

Our Boston juvenile crimes lawyers are aware of the serious ramifications that can result when a juvenile is charged with committing a Massachusetts crime. These consequences can become even more serious when a child is charged as an adult.

The outcome of a Boston juvenile crime case could irrevocably alter your child’s future.

Lynn suspects file appeals, Item Live, September 15, 2009
‘Look how they left him’,, September 11, 2009
6 Mass. boys accused of beating sleeping immigrant, Salon, September 8, 2009
Related Web Resources:
The General Laws of Massachusetts

Juvenile Crimes In Massachusetts (PDF)

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