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California teens accused in teacher's shooting

Four California teenagers are facing serious allegations after they reportedly shot a Fresno high school teacher. The group, thought to be associated with the Norteno gang, allegedly accosted the teacher on Dec. 19 when he was in his classroom. Three 16-year-old defendants and one 17-year-old defendant assaulted the teacher at about 7 p.m., as the man was on the phone to his wife to tell her he was coming home. Investigators say that the young men will face charges for the juvenile crimes, including attempted robbery, conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon and other serious allegations.

Authorities speculate the the group was attempting to prove their value to the Norteno gang by attacking their teacher. They are accused of striking the teacher with a 25-pound weight to his head. Further, the 17-year-old teen was wielding a gun at the time of the attack. That firearm discharged and struck the teacher twice. The victim was able to knock the gun away from the high school student; he subsequently shot at the boys as they ran from the scene.

Officials say that a 62-year-old woman may have been assaulted by the same group of teens just minutes before the teacher was assaulted. Those youths were reportedly armed with a sawed-off rifle and a handgun. So far, the individual who held the gun in the teacher attack has confessed to the crimes, but it is not clear whether the younger defendants have yet done the same.

This group is facing serious juvenile crimes because of the grave nature of their alleged attack. Still, the teens may be subject to penalties through the juvenile law system instead of the court system used to try adults. Young people do not always understand the implications of their actions, especially when they are accused of perpetrating violent crimes at the behest of intimidating gang members. Juvenile defendants in California may consult qualified criminal defense attorneys to learn more about their legal rights and options.

Source: The Fresno Bee, "4 teens arrested for allegedly shooting Edison High teacher" Jacob Rayburn and Angela Sasaki, Dec. 24, 2013

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