Group holds prayer rally for teens charged with felony murder - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Group holds prayer rally for teens charged with felony murder


Three local teenagers go on trial for felony murder charges August 19th.  Now their supporters are asking for the law that put them behind bars to be changed, because they say the teens didn't kill anyone.

Friday evening dozens of people came together to hold hands and pray for teenagers who they say are being charged unfairly with felony murder.  In October of 2012... police say the teens broke into a home on Frances Avenue.  The homeowner shot and killed one of the boys.  Now the surviving boys are charged with felony murder.  Under Indiana Law if a death happens while a crime is being committed anyone involved can be charged with murder.

Tammy Adams said, "I think the felony murder law is insane."  Adams is suspect Blake Layman's great aunt.  "They did make a mistake and we do feel they need to be punished for the mistake they made.  But definitely not for a murder they didn't commit," said Adams.  Layman's dad echoed that sentiment.  "These kids made a bad choice and I don't think they deserve what they're up against and I don't feel any of us would agree with that," said Rick Coughenour.

The case has also touched people who don't know the boys.  Linda Iavagnilio writes to them in jail.  "I'm really writing just to lift their spirits...I feel that it's just wrong and I know our law says they can be charged.  It doesn't say they have to be charged," said Iavagnilio.

Friday Prosecutor Curtis Hill said he wouldn't talk on camera about a case that's about to go to trial.  But he had this to say about the law back in October when the home invasion happened.  "People breaking into homes whether there is someone there or there is someone not's got to stop and from our standpoint we're going to use every available measurable under the law to stop it from this standpoint."

There is a fourth teen involved, Jose Quiroz, he will not be on trial because he took a plea deal in December and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.



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