Prosecutors charge teen with murder in death of 8-year-old

2015-07-30 14:55
Madyson "Maddy" Middleton, from Santa Cruz. (Santa Cruz Police Department, AP)

Madyson "Maddy" Middleton, from Santa Cruz. (Santa Cruz Police Department, AP)

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Santa Cruz - Prosecutors charged a 15-year-old boy with murder, kidnapping and rape on Wednesday in the death of an 8-year-old girl in an artists complex in a California beach town.

Police say Adrian Jerry Gonzalez lured Madyson Middleton into his family's apartment from a courtyard where she had been riding her scooter over the weekend. Once inside, he tied her up, sexually assaulted and killed her, according to a charging document.

Gonzalez remains in custody at the Santa Cruz County juvenile detention centre, where he has been held since the girl's body was found in a recycling bin on Monday evening.

"Unfortunately, the search for Maddy ended in the worst way possible," Santa Cruz District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell said.

He said Gonzalez will be charged as an adult and added that in his two decades in Santa Cruz, he's never seen a 15-year-old charged with murder.

The charges could send Gonzalez to prison for the rest of his life.

Larry Biggam of the Santa Cruz public defender's office said he expects to be appointed as the teen's lawyer at the arraignment on Thursday, but he declined to comment on the case.

Authorities haven't been able to establish a motive in the killing. "People do things for lots of reasons, sometimes we understand it, sometimes we don't," Rosell said.

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