TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma teen accused of fatally shooting a man and raping an 81-year-old woman was released from juvenile court days before the offenses, despite a prosecutor's concerns that he would "hurt or kill a homeowner."
The Tulsa World reports 16-year-old Deonte Green was released on probation by a Tulsa County judge less than two weeks earlier. Special Judge Bill Hiddle says Green didn't meet the requirements to meet the prosecutor's request that he be placed in the custody of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs.
Green faced several juvenile charges related to home break-ins. Ivan Orndorff, chairman of the Tulsa County Bar Association's Juvenile Section, says Green's pending charges were no different than other youths and did not raise a "red flag."
Orndorff says the juvenile system is designed to be "therapeutic and rehabilitative," not punitive like adult courts.
Assistant District Attorney Julianne Burton said she argued during Green's Sept. 20 hearing that he be detained until placed at a juvenile facility rather than release back into the public.
"One of my main concerns about Deonte was that he continued to break into people's homes and, not steal televisions or game consoles, but instead always zeroed in on firearms," Burton wrote. "I argued that Deonte was either going to be shot by a homeowner rightfully protecting their home and family or that he was going to hurt or kill a homeowner he came across."
Middle school geography teacher Shane Anderson was fatally shot in front of his wife and daughters on Oct. 1 in his home during a scuffle with a would-be robber.