The court and all involved parties have agreed to move a hearing for 12-year-old murder suspect Cristian Fernandez from Monday to Dec. 5.
Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel said both sides are still talking about a plea deal, and he "remains hopeful of a resolution."
Caliel said that possible resolution just wasn't going to happen Monday.
Earlier this week, Fernandez's attorney said the boy rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors.
Prosecutors said the plea deal would have reduced the charge from first-degree murder in the death of Fernandez's 2-year-old half brother to second-degree murder. It also would have allowed the boy to be released when he turned 21 years old and to serve his time in a juvenile facility.
If no plea deal is accepted at some point, it may be up to a jury to decide the boy's fate. Public Defender Matt Shirk said the plea deal wasn't good enough.
"Well, Cristian's not going to plead to second-degree murder because he didn't commit second-degree murder," Shirk said.
Shirk points out the rejection puts Fernandez back on track to go to trial, and because he's accused of beating the toddler to death, the state stands by its decision to try him as an adult.
Prosecutors say their offer to let Fernandez stay in juvenile detention until he's 21 was in his best interest.
"We believe this position that we offered contemplated everything that the defense was requesting but at the same token was appropriate under the circumstances of the crime and taking into account that we have a deceased 2-year-old victim here that needed justice in his case," Caliel said in a phone interview earlier this week.
Despite the breakdown in negotiations, attorneys say Fernandez is holding up well, given the circumstances, but it still isn't clear if he understands the severity of the situation he's in.
"How does a 12-year-old understand that they could spend the rest of their life in prison?" Shirk said. "I don't think any 12-year-old can understand that. That's why we have a separate juvenile justice system."
Shirk said that at this point, Fernandez has no parental guidance, but attorneys are advising him. Shirk said they are hopeful a deal can be reached, but they aren't relying on it.
"If not, we're going to continue down the path. We're going to put the case before a jury and see what our community feels about it," Shirk said.