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Testimony Ends in Mich. Boy Trial

November 11, 1999

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) _ A 13-year-old murder defendant first told a female friend that he was ``gonna shoot somebody,″ practiced his aim and then shot an 18-year-old man in the head, a prosecutor said in closing arguments Wednesday.

``Nathaniel Abraham was able to engage in organized planning and goal-oriented activity,″ assistant prosecutor Lisa Halushka said. ``We’re left sitting with the realization that this 11-year-old could kill.″

Jurors deliberated 90 minutes Wednesday and will return Friday after a day off for Veterans Day.

Nathaniel is believed to be among the youngest people in the country to be charged with first-degree murder and tried as an adult. He could face life in prison if convicted.

Authorities say he fatally shot Ronnie Greene on Oct. 29, 1997 outside a convenience store in this northern Detroit suburb.

The defense argued that Nathaniel was too young to plan and carry out a killing and that he fired toward a group of trees and a shot ricocheted and hit Greene.

In his closing argument, defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger accused the prosecution of twisting the evidence to justify an adult first-degree murder case.

``Do you understand they charged this child and for two years they brutalized him?″ Fieger asked.

``It’s quite clear it’s a terrible accident, and then I said, `Oh, my God. Oh, my God. What have they done, what have they done,‴ Fieger said, speaking in a near-whisper. ``I assumed they would never try to falsely accuse a little boy of doing something.″

Fieger called five psychologists and psychiatrists to back up his argument that Nathaniel was incapable of planning a murder.

``In the world of psychiatry today, there is no doctor ... who could say that an 11-year-old with a 6-year-old’s mentality, could form criminal intent,″ Fieger said.

Besides first-degree murder, Nathaniel also is charged with assault with intent to commit murder and two felony firearms counts.

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