Article from local paper:
TACOMA -- A court hearing is scheduled next month to determine whether a 9-year-old boy who ran away from home and talked his way onto two flights to Texas may be charged in a car theft and police chase.
Semaj Booker, whose determined effort to get to his grandfather in Dallas made national headlines earlier this month, appeared briefly Monday before Superior Court Judge John A. McCarthy, who ruled there was probable cause for a hearing in the car theft case.
The boy is accused of stealing a neighbor's car on Jan. 14 in Lakewood, a suburb south of the city, and leading police on a chase at speeds up to 80 mph on State Route 512 before the engine blew.
Unable to find a juvenile detention center to accept the boy because of his youth, police returned him to his mother, who reported him missing the next morning.
He was detained that night, Jan. 15, in San Antonio, where he managed to fly from Seattle with a plane change in Phoenix after giving Southwest Airlines agents a false name and claiming to be 12 years old.
The court case concerns charges of second-degree car theft and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, both felonies, and driving without a valid driver's license.
Under state law, a child 8 to 11 years old is presumed to be incapable of committing a crime unless prosecutors prove he understood what he did and knew it was wrong. McCarthy scheduled a ''capacity hearing'' to answer those questions for Feb. 12.
The boy remained in the custody of his mother, Sakinah Booker, but the judge ordered that he remain under constant adult supervision, be kept home except for attending school and not drive any motor vehicles.
April Kettner, whose car was stolen, attended the hearing and said afterward that the vehicle remained inoperable and impounded.
''I would just like to see them held accountable for what he's done,'' Kettner said
So.. this is open for discussion..
Im mixed on this.. I think a few things need to happen here
First and for most, this child needs to understand that for every action there is an effect.
That when you do a crime, of any form regardless of the severity, there are consequences.
However, at the age of 9, does this child understand any of this?
I realize alot is dependant upon the childs understanding, meaning does he have the intelligance to understand right from wrong.
At the age of 9, one would hope that he has the basic fundementals to understand right from wrong, but what about his home life?
Is it stable?
Taught the basic priniples of life?
Do not steal! ( this is already proven to be null)
Do not lie (again.. proven to be null as the boy lied multiple times at the airport)
Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Be respectful of yourself and others, to both your person and to others belongings (do I need to say it?)
So forth and so on..
In another of news reports, the mother stated how proud she was of her son. Proud? Proud of the ingenuity her son showed.. ok... I can sort of grasp that..but not really.. how embarrassing as a mother to have a child who has no care for others around him.. to show to the world that your parenting skills are so lacking that your 9 yr old steals/lies & cheats.
What type of child will he grow up to be?
Or.. do you feel that this child is crying out for help?
After all... other reports state, all he wanted to do was get to his Grandfather who lives in Texas.
So.. open up for forum..
what are your thoughts on this matter?