The family of an Indianapolis murder victim is speaking out in hopes of preventing a possible last minute plea deal for a 15-year-old charged in connection to his death.
The boy is one of two teens charged with a long list of crimes stemming from a violent crime spree and police chase in February. By the time police caught up with the stolen SUV on 56th Street, the teens had already been linked to multiple robberies and two shootings, including the murder of John Yingling.
According to police, 17-year-old Sirquain Burr pulled the trigger and his 15-year-old accomplice was driving.
“They couldn’t punish them boys enough to satisfy us,” said Janet Yingling, John Yingling’s ex-wife.
On Tuesday, a juvenile judge began hearing testimony to consider whether the driver should be tried in adult court, but the hearing was suddenly interrupted and now Fox59 News has learned that negotiations are going on that could potentially lead to a plea bargain, which would keep him in the juvenile system.
“He’s just as guilty as the 17-year-old,” Janet Yingling said. “He was in it for the thrill and now he needs to pay the price.”
In the waiver motion to the juvenile judge, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry wrote, “the said child is beyond the rehabilitation of the juvenile system.”
But as the teen’s family left the interrupted hearing, it was clear that the defense is working to keep him there.
“He’s got people who love him and who care about him,” said defense attorney Kenneth Riggins, ”same as the victim who has people who care about him and love him as well. This is horrible and everyone is coming together to try to heal this situation and move forward as best we can.”
“There is no healing the situation,” Janet Yingling said. “There is nothing they can do to bring John back.”
If the teen pleads guilty to his charges as a juvenile, he likely faces treatment and incarceration in the juvenile system. He could also potentially be release by the time he’s 21 years old.
John Yingling’s 21-year-old daughter, says that’s unacceptable.
“My dad didn’t get a second chance, so why do either one of them kids?” Stacey Yingling said. “That 15-year-old was driving that truck. He could have walked away.”
The juvenile court hearing has been continued until June 5.