#parents | #teensvaping | ARCATA MURDER HEARING: Was Accused Manila Teen Acting With ‘Criminal Sophistication’ Before the Shooting? | Lost Coast Outpost


A
Manila boy shot another teen three times in the back while he was
running away. But do the circumstances show he was acting with
criminal sophistication?

That
is one of the factors Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis must consider when
deciding to either keep 16-year-old Logan Rain Brewer Hearst in
Juvenile Court, where he faces maximum confinement of nine years; or
transfer him to the adult system, where a murder charge can mean life
in prison.

Brewer
Hearst, an admitted dealer of a large and varied amount of drugs,
shot and killed 18-year-old Taevonne Latimer and wounded his cousin
Daylyn Prudhomme during a failed cocaine deal in Arcata on May 26.
Latimer and Prudhomme were with “J,” a minor who had arranged to
buy a large amount of drugs from Brewer Hearst.

The
deal went awry when J began punching Brewer Hearst in the face.
Prudhomme then pushed Brewer Hearst to the ground. He pulled a gun
and began firing as the three sprinted back to their car.

According
to Prudhomme, who testified Tuesday, on the drive to Arcata J said he
was going to “jug” the dealer, meaning steal the drugs.

On
Wednesday, Arcata police Detective Victoria Johnson testified she
believed Brewer Hearst acted with criminal sophistication by bringing
a loaded firearm to a drug deal.

“Did
he exhibit a higher level of sophistication than most 16-year-olds?”
Deputy District Attorney Jessica Watson asked the detective.

“Yes,”
Johnson said, pointing out that Brewer Hearst had chosen the location
for the deal (a bus stop in Arcata) because “he didn’t want them
to come to his location.”

“He
brought a firearm to a drug deal, showing he knows it’s potentially
dangerous and he may need to use it.”

Brewer
Hearst’s weapon of choice was a revolver, which does not expel
shell casings when fired. Casings would be collected as evidence.

“He
ran from the scene and left the firearm at an unknown location,”
the detective testified. Brewer Hearst, who turned himself in the day
after the shooting, told police he tossed the gun and thought he
heard a splash, as though it landed in water. The gun was never
found.

Instead
of going home to his mother’s house in Manila, Brewer Hearst went
to the place where he had been staying: a Heather Lane apartment
occupied by Joshua Spaulding, an often-arrested man who was recently
shot in the leg by his upstairs neighbor.

Another
resident of the apartment was Steven Noble, who now resides at
Humboldt County Correctional Facility and has been corresponding with
Brewer Hearst at Juvenile Hall. In one letter to Noble, Brewer Hearst
said if he was out of custody he would be “stacking money.”

Watson
maintains Brewer Hearst has “entrenched himself in this criminal
underworld going on in Arcata.”

Because
of that, the prosecutor says, it may be difficult if not impossible
for Brewer Hearst to be rehabilitated. Whether he is a candidate for
rehabilitation is another factor the judge must consider.

Defense
attorney David Nims asked Johnson whether a revolver is a less-deadly
weapon than a semiautomatic firearm.

“It’s
fairly deadly as it killed someone,” she said.

Nims
also questioned whether fleeing the scene was a sign of criminal
sophistication.

Dr.
Andrew Renouf, the defense-hired psychiatrist who evaluated Brewer
Hearst, reached the opinion that the teen should be kept in Juvenile
Court. The Probation Department also has recommended he be tried as a
minor.

Renouf
acknowledged he has never recommended a teen be transferred to adult
court because he’s never believed it was appropriate.

“There
is substantial research that indicates adolescents are different than
adults in their cognitive abilities,” the doctor said. Asked if
there was anyone who should be transferred, he said possibly older
adolescents with a long criminal history.

Watson
asked whether bringing a loaded gun to a drug deal shows criminal
sophistication.

“Not
as an isolated factor,” Renouf said, adding there would have to be
some premeditation or the intent to use the gun.

“So
if Logan told you he brought the firearm because he didn’t feel
safe, doesn’t that show he intended to use it if he needed to?”

Watson
then asked about Brewer Hearst disposing of the gun.

“I
think it would be a natural impulse that most people would have,”
Renouf said.

Although
Brewer Hearst had been a hard-core drug dealer since he was 13 or 14,
he was never caught and therefore has no criminal history. His only
offense was an incident of vandalism, and the case was considered too
minor to be referred to the district attorney for charging.

While
in Juvenile Hall Brewer Hearst has been well-behaved, senior
Probation Officer Barbara Boeger testified. The one exception was
when he enlisted the help of two other teens to attack another
detainee. That detainee happened to be J, the boy who arranged the
deal that ended in death.

A
large number of Latimer and Prudhomme’s friends and family members
have been in court each day. Brewer Hearst’s mother is also there.

The
hearing will not resume again until Tuesday afternoon.

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