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Experts discuss case of boy charged with murder

12-Year-Old Accused Of Killing 2-Year-Old Half Brother

Cristian Fernandez attends a pretrial hearing on a murder charge.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Experts weighed in Tuesday afternoon in the case of a 12-year-old boy charged as an adult with murder.

Cristian Fernandez is accused of beating his 2-year-old half brother to death in March.

In June, he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge, the youngest person ever to be charged with murder in Duval County.

On Tuesday, the Children's Campaign hosted a roundtable event discussing the case. Doctors, a former prosecutor and a social worker all weighed in.

State Attorney Angela Corey was in the audience for the discussion.

The campaign believes Fernandez should be tried as a juvenile.

"Twelve-year-old children do not understand adult consequences," Children's Campaign President Roy Miller said. "And when you take a look at this child's life, we see the tragedy that he was subjected to, and we need to stop that tragedy now and not continue it by charging him as an adult."

After Fernandez's last court appearance in October, lawyers for both sides said they are close to working out a plea deal.

Prosecutors say that if a deal is reached, Fernandez will be sentenced as an adult but will serve his time in a Juvenile Justice facility.