Lorain family pushing for stricter punishments for juveniles

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 8:06 PM EDT
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LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - Back in December the unimaginable happened to a one year old boy.

According to family Jessie Webber was being watched by a 13-year-old neighbor while his mother ran next door.

“When I came back home I found my son unresponsive, “ said Heather Banbury. “he beat my baby to death”.

Police arrested the 13-year-old boy, but now, 8 months later a trial has not started or been added to the calendar.

A judge is trying to decide if the boy, now 14, is competent enough to go to trial, If not, the judge could decide to send him to a group home instead.

“Most adults don’t understand their charges and go away for a long time,” said Banbury.

Banbury’s sister is urging people to sign petition. Asking Ohio lawmakers to rethink trying juveniles as adults when it comes to crimes like rape, kidnapping, and murder.

“There are other states out here that value their children and when a crime is committed against a baby they prosecute to the fullest extent,” said Kathleen Banbury.

Banbury says if laws change it probably won’t impact Jessie’s case but it could help another family.

“If you’re that young and capable of doing something that heinous, that crazy, you need to answer for your crimes, regardless of what age you are,” said Kathleen Banbury.