On February 1st, 2022, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPOA) filed charges against four (including one who is still at large) of the five teens involved in last week’s kidnapping, robbery, and escape at Echo Glen.
The KCPOA received the investigation into the fifth teen from the King County Sheriff’s Office. He remains in juvenile detention. The charging deadline is Friday.
State law requires 2 of the teens to be charged as adults because they are age 17 and 16.
The KCPOA has also made a motion for a judge to move the case for Timothy Hernandez-Ebanks – who was previously sentenced for a random gun violence murder in South King County – to adult court.
The fact that they have filed this notice does not mean that the decision has been made. This investigation remains ongoing, and evidence continues to be gathered. If and when that decision is made, it will be public.
Ultimately, the decision to move Hernandez-Ebanks to adult court where he would still face age-appropriate sentencing guidelines is up to a judge, as is the sentence should he be convicted. Judges have great discretion.
Regardless of a judge’s decision, the teens will not be held in jail with adults, nor is the KCPOA advocating for an extreme sentence or a life sentence. A life sentence is not possible with the current charges.
A person who is convicted in Juvenile Court is under the Court’s control only until their 21st birthday. A person convicted in adult court for conduct committed before their 18th birthday will not face sentencing under the adult guidelines; instead, the judge has the discretion to go below the standard range applicable to adults.
Today’s sentencing guidelines for juveniles are drastically different than they were decades ago.
[Update provided by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office]