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Youth Freed In Daughter Shooting

February 6, 1985

BOSTON (AP) _ A mother who claims she overheard a teen-ager boasting that he shot her daughter was incredulous when she learned the 14-year-old boy had been freed on bail.

″You’re kidding,″ said Frances James, after a judge released the youth Tuesday on $500 cash against a $5,000 bond.

″The courts really, really don’t do what they should do. He should not be out on the street. He tried to kill my daughter,″ said the 55-year-old mother of 11 who works as a jail guard.

The boy was arrested Friday after Mrs. James told police she overheard him tell a companion on a subway train, ″I pumped a broad in Dorchester last night because she wouldn’t turn loose her bag″ - a shooting remarkably like her daughter’s.

The teen-ager, not identified because of his age, went free after he was arraigned on a charge of juvenile delinquency by reason of attempted murder.

″I felt safe as long as I thought he was away, but now I don’t know how I feel,″ said the alleged victim, Mary Frances James, 21.

″And even after we go to trial, what will happen then? He’s a juvenile and everybody knows nothing happens to them. Can you believe it? He’s out on the street. Wow.″

District Court Judge Darrell Outlaw said the boy has a record of violent crimes. He expressed surprise that the boy’s mother could come up with the cash.

″Attempted murder charges are not that big a deal around here,″ the judge said. ″It’s sad to have to say that, but it’s true. I looked at the boy’s record. There were other entries involving violent crimes.

″His lawyer wanted him released on personal recognizance, but I couldn’t do that. What a howl there would have been then,″ the judge said.

Miss James, a hotel restaurant supervisor, was shot in a struggle with a boy who came up behind her on a bus and demanded her purse, which held several hundred dollars.

She was grazed in the back and the bullet that pierced her coat and three sweaters fell out while Boston City Hospital doctors prepared her for surgery.

The next day, Mrs. James had just visited her daughter at the hospital when she overheard the subway conversation.

She said the boy’s companion asked, ″Did you waste her?″ and the boy replied, ″Nah. I don’t think so. There was nothin’ on the TV.″

She said the suspect claimed he shot her daughter because she ″had a big wad of money″ and he wanted it.

″I could have killed him,″ said Mrs. James, the mother of 11. ″All I could think of was, ‘How dare you shoot my daughter?’...

″My hands were clenching. I could have strangled him,″ Mrs. James said. ″But my main feeling was that when we went to (guard training) school, they said always said, ‘Have a backup,’ and I didn’t have anyone.″

She followed the boy to Boston’s downtown shopping center and into a restaurant, where she called police, who arrested him.

P-PX-02-06-85 0606EST

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