When Teens Murder
When a couple of teens took a joyride one August 2023 morning, their mischief took a wicked turn. As the 17-year-olds careened the streets of Las Vegas just off the strip, they spotted former Police Chief Andreas Probst, who’d been out taking a ride on his bicycle. The teens spotted Probst, and deliberately ran him down, careening into the cyclist, gleefully videotaping the body tumbling over the hood of the vehicle. Then they sped away, leaving Probst bleeding in the road. Within hours, Probst died as a result of his injuries.
This stunning incident was later streamed on social media, and was apparently not the first attack on cyclists. Police believe the pair were involved in other collisions, one of which involved a 72-year-old on a bicycle.
Now the two teens are facing murder charges, and will be charged as adults as per Nevada law. The tragedy and waste associated with the case tears at heartstrings, for both the victims of such horrendous crimes, and for the perpetrators, who are damaged to the point that they hold no value for human life.
What to do with Teens Who Murder
There is no question as to the depravity of this murder and others like it. How do we, as a society, address children who engage in such wantonness? Perhaps we start by trying to make some sense of who teen killers are, and the complex environments that often produce them.
One recent study found that many young offenders grew up in homes in “disordered” neighborhoods with easy access to firearms and greater exposure to violence as children. Oftentimes, compromised home lives drive these youth to make stupid, emotional decisions based on the situation they find themselves in, never thinking through to the consequences of their actions.
That comports with much research concluding that the human brain does not fully develop until roughly age 25. That’s precisely why the Supreme Court eliminated the death penalty for juveniles back in 2005, and why life without parole is rarely handed down to juvenile offenders.
Understanding the Teen Brain
Studies reveal what is pretty obvious to the casual observer: teens crave peer approval, and engage in reckless behaviors in order to gain that approval. This, along with the inability to balance risk and reward, make it imperative that the expectations for teen criminals are tempered when they face adult courtrooms. That is not to minimize the suffering of victims; it simply acknowledges the reality of the science behind human behavior.
Defending Teen Suspects
The experienced Las Vegas juvenile crime attorneys at Lobo Law are prepared to launch a vigorous defense for juveniles who face penalties in the adult criminal justice system. For a confidential consultation, schedule an appointment in our office today.