Dallas County DA watching teen murder suspect's case closely

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office is closely watching what happens with the case of a young teen charged in the shooting death of a Dollar General store clerk.

The 15-year-old boy’s murder case could end up in the Frank Crowley courts if the 15-year-old is certified as an adult.

Defense attorney George Ashford and juvenile prosecutor Micheal Obrien stood once again in front of Judge Andrea Martin in the third hearing for the teen charged in the shooting of store Gabrielle Simmons. Like in his previous hearings, none of his family appeared in court.

“We still have to do the psychological evaluation. The juvenile department has to prepare their report,” Ashford explained. “At the certification hearing, the state would have to present witnesses to at least prove probable cause.”

Police say the teen was caught on tape carrying out the crime. They say he shot Simmons, a mother of six, after she gave him the money tray from the register. He dropped the tray on the way out, leaving empty-handed.

The teen’s attorney is trying to negotiate a plea bargain with juvenile prosecutors to keep the case in the kid criminal system. But the district attorney's office in the adult system is watching every legal move.

“When you’re talking a capital murder — whether it’s an adult case, whether it’s a juvenile case — obviously it’s the most serious kind of case that you can have,” Ashford said. “They are paying attention over there at Crowley with what’s going on with this case so everybody gets involved.”

Attorney Remeko T. Edwards often represents juvenile defendants but is not involved in the teen’s case.

“You have a child which we know the juvenile system wants to rehabilitate. But we also know that when you look at a child that we also know that justice has to be served,” she said. “The public is very concerned what’s gonna happen to this child in addition to what’s gonna happen to the family of this victim that was murdered.”

No date has been set for the teen’s certification hearing. It will be set at the next case hearing on January 19. By then, all reviews, studies and exams should be complete.