Erica Marquez/s.f. examiner file photoRashawn Williams

14-year-old charged with homicide could be tried as adult, pending review by juvenile court

The possible fate of a boy who allegedly stabbed to death another juvenile last month on a Mission sidewalk remains to be decided.

The 14-year-old defendant, who has been charged with murder in juvenile court for allegedly stabbing to death a former classmate, could be charged as an adult pending the result of a special hearing.

The fitness hearing, which assesses whether a juvenile charged with a serious crime should stand trial as an adult or not, was requested by Deputy District Attorney David Mitchell in Judge Charles Hanes' courtroom at the Juvenile Justice Center Tuesday.

The District Attorney's Office could have charged the defendant, whose name has not been released because of his age, as an adult but declined to do so. Now the juvenile court will assess whether or not the defendant will be charged as an adult pending the fitness hearing's outcome.

Rashawn Williams, a 14-year-old freshman at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, was stabbed to death by a male suspect outside of a Mission convenient store on Sept. 2 near 25th and Folsom streets. Soon afterward, an unnamed former classmate was arrested and then charged with the crime.

The homicide does not appear to be random, according to police, but no details about a possible motive have been released.

The defendant appeared in court Tuesday morning alongside his public defender, Gregory Feldman. The boy's mother, father and grandmother sat in the courtroom as well.

Not far away, the family of Williams filled the courtroom. Outside, family members led a loud rally, calling for the youth to be charged as an adult.

The crowd hollered at passing cars and waved picket signs with photos of Williams on them. One woman yelling into a bullhorn said, “Premeditated murder.”

Williams' family met with the District Attorney's Office on Monday in an effort to get the defendant charged as an adult, bringing what they said was additional evidence.

“All I can say is that it was a valuable meeting,” said Maria MacMurray, Williams' aunt. “We had a good exchange of information. The DA and other people from the top were very gracious with us.”

If convicted of murder charges as a minor, the juvenile defendant in the Williams case faces jail time in a state juvenile facility until his 23rd birthday.

If tried and convicted as an adult, he will serve whatever sentence an adult would.

Only juveniles who were at least 14 years old when the crime was committed and took part in especially heinous acts can be tried as adults. In such cases, the district attorney has the discretion to try the juveniles as adults. If such an option is declined, juvenile court can then decide if the juvenile can be tried as an adult.

The next court date is set for Dec. 3.

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