PIERRE (AP) - The South Dakota Supreme Court has overturned a ruling by a circuit court judge that a 17-year-old Pierre boy accused of murder should be tried as an adult.
The high court ordered Judge John Brown to reconsider the issue - without considering the testimony of a psychologist who examined Braiden McCahren, KCCR radio reported.
Brown ruled in September that McCahren should be tried as an adult in the shooting last Dec. 18 of 16-year-old Dalton Williams in McCahren's home, when McCahren was 16. Brown cited what he said was the seriousness of the crime, its impact on the community and the families, and McCahren's lack of remorse.
McCahren's lawyers have argued that the shooting was accidental, and McCahren has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges. Prosecutors have said McCahren has a history of violent, reckless behavior since childhood.
The defense argued earlier this year that a psychologist who examined McCahren went too far with her questioning, exceeding what the defense had agreed to, and that McCahren's rights had been violated. Supreme Court justices agreed.
Justices ruled that McCahren's rights to due process and defense against self-incrimination had been "violated by the breach of the agreement between the state and defense counsel" because of the scope of the examination.
The Supreme Court ordered Brown to again decide the issue of whether McCahren should be tried as an adult or as a juvenile, without using the psychologist's testimony. Justices said Brown could require the collection of additional evidence, including psychological or psychiatric examinations, in making his decision.
Prosecutor Michael Moore said he needs to further review the decision before making a decision on how to proceed.
If convicted as a juvenile, McCahren could be held by the state until he is 21. In adult court, he faces up to life in prison.