Teen charged with shooting soldier in face wants murder charge thrown out

Prosecutors say Jacob Kinney (left), then a 15-year-old honor studentl, fatally shot his sister's boyfriend, Spc. MarStratton Gordon (right), 23, in the face. (Photo credit: Facebook)

The fate of a 15-year-old, from West Tennessee, who killed a Fort Campbell soldier will be decided by a judge next month, particularly in relation to whether or not he will be tried as an adult.

Jacob Kinney is accused of fatally shooting 101st Sustainment Brigade MarStratton Gordon, a 23-year-old African-American truck driver who was visiting his girlfriend (Kinney’s sister) on leave.

While the case was initially approached with caution due to the possibility of racial tensions, all sides involved claim race was not a factor and that the issue more likely originated from domestic problems.

Kinney reportedly called 9-1-1 moments after the shooting, claiming he shot Gordon in defense of his sister, Amber Kinney. While police initially charged Kinney with second-degree murder, a Roane County grand jury reduced the charge to reckless homicide, as state law only has a limited number of crimes in which an individual can be tried for as an adult.

According to Knox News, if punished under his current sentence, Kinney could at most be behind bars until his 19th birthday.

“Criminal Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction,” Kinney family lawyer Pat Cooley wrote in a motion.  He noted that Tennesee law “vests juvenile courts with original and exclusive jurisdiction of all offenses committed by persons under 18 years of age” unless specified otherwise.

Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Wicks had set a hearing for yesterday but has postponed the case, as prosecutors requested more time to prepare.

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