Teen charged in girl’s mur­der

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

Pros­e­cu­tors charged a 15year-old boy with mur­der, kid­nap­ping and sex­ual as­sault Wed­nes­day in the death of an 8-year-old girl in an artists com­plex in a Cal­i­for­nia beach town.

Po­lice say Adrian Jerry Gon­za­lez lured Madyson Mid­dle­ton from a court­yard where she had been rid­ing her scooter over the week­end into his fam­ily’s apart­ment where he at­tacked and killed her.

Gon­za­lez re­mains in cus­tody at the Santa Cruz County ju­ve­nile de­ten­tion cen­tre, where he has been held since be­ing ar­rested Mon­day evening near a re­cy­cling bin where the girl’s body had been dumped.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the search for Maddy ended in the worst way pos­si­ble,” Santa Cruz Dis­trict At­tor­ney Jeffrey Rosell said.

He said Gon­za­lez will be charged as an adult and added that in his two decades in Santa Cruz, he’s never seen a 15-yearold charged with mur­der.

Pros­e­cu­tors said they con­sid­ered the na­ture of the crime, how the crimes were com­mit­ted, the age of the de­fen­dant and prior crim­i­nal record when mak­ing their charg­ing de­ci­sion.

Be­cause of his age, author­i­ties have de­clined to say whether Gon­za­lez had a record.

Author­i­ties also say they don’t have a clear mo­tive in the killing.

“Peo­ple do things for lots of rea­sons, some­times we un­der­stand it, some­times we don’t,” Rosell said.

A call to the Santa Cruz County Of­fice of the Public De­fender for com­ment on the case wasn’t im­me­di­ately re­turned. Gon­za­lez could be as­signed a public de­fender at an up­com­ing court ap­pear­ance.

Neigh­bours at the Tan­nery Arts Cen­ter where both the sus­pect and Madyson lived said they were stunned by the death. The cen­tre is a publicpri­vate non-profit that in­cludes 100 af­ford­able loft apart­ments for artists and their fam­i­lies.

About 250 peo­ple live in the com­plex, in­clud­ing about 50 chil­dren.

A me­mo­rial has been set up in Madyson’s hon­our, over­flow­ing with dozens of bou­quets, stuffed an­i­mals, bal­loons, can­dles and notes.

On Wed­nes­day, a group of girls about Madyson’s age were cry­ing at the me­mo­rial.

One girl was walk­ing Madyson’s dog, Lucy.


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