For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
May 27, 2016
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office announces that a 16 year old juvenile charged with open murder has been certified as an adult for the purposes of prosecution after a three day hearing in Washoe County District Court. The murder charge stems from a shooting that occurred at Pat Baker Park in December 2015 and resulted in the death of a 16 year old boy.
Christian Joel Scott,(DOB 5/1/2000, from Reno) was 15 years old at the time of the shooting and has been held as a juvenile prior to a hearing that began last Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The hearing related to a motion filed by this office to certify Scott as an adult and was granted Friday evening by Judge Bridget Robb.
The Reno Police Department Robbery Homicide Unit led the investigation into the shooting that took place in the afternoon of December 29, 2015. Based on witness statements and evidence from the scene, detectives determined that the shooting was related to a confrontation between Scott, and two juvenile victims he robbed at gunpoint. Shortly after being robbed, the two victims were driving in the area when they again encountered Scott who shot at the pair, hitting the 16 year old driver in the head. Patrol units arrived on scene after receiving reports of the shooting and the shooting victim was transported to Renown Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. The second juvenile victim was not injured. Detectives were able to identify Scott and located him later that evening. Scott was arrested and initially booked into Jan Evans Juvenile Detention Center. The case was submitted to the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office where the decision was made to seek adult certification based on the nature of the crime and in the interests of justice for the victim and public safety.
In 2014, Nevada laws regarding certification of juveniles who commit violent crimes changed (see NRS 62B.390). Prior to the change, juveniles charged with murder or attempted murder were automatically excluded from juvenile court jurisdiction. This certification is no longer automatic and must be specifically sought by the District Attorney. The decision to seek adult certification is based on the nature of the offense, the history of the offender and the safety of the community. In addition, the 2015 legislature (AB267) changed the penalties for juveniles convicted as adults and eliminated life without parole. In Nevada, the maximum sentence that can be imposed on a juvenile is life with the possibility of parole in 20 years unless the conviction resulted from a murder where two or more deaths occurred. Adult offenders can be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Scott will now be booked into the Washoe County Jail on the charges for which he was certified and the case will proceed in Justice and District Courts. Scott is charged with one count of Murder with a Deadly Weapon, one count of Attempted Murder with a Firearm and one count of Robbery with a Firearm.