ATLANTA - Marquavious Hilliard’s mother describes him as a typical teenager who loves sports and video games, and who excelled in school.
“To me he’s still my baby,” Venetian Hill told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik.
But prosecutors painted a very different picture Friday as the 14-year-old appeared before a Fulton County Superior Court judge.
They say the teen and two older friends lured two pizza delivery drivers to an abandoned Southwest Atlanta home last summer to rob and carjack them, and in one case, they say the boys beat up one driver, who was five months pregnant.
Prosecutors also contend Hilliard and his friends robbed a woman at gunpoint outside of a Family Dollar.
Hilliard was just 13 at the time, and while most kids his age would likely end up in the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office instead opted to charge him as an adult.
“When you have someone who is sticking guns in people’s faces and taking money and cars on three separate occasions, that’s not an isolated incident,” said a clearly pained and frustrated Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams. “That’s not a mistake.”
Hilliard was facing two life sentences had his case gone to trial, but he and his attorney agreed Friday to a plea deal that sent the boy to prison for 10 years.
“Still a little innocent child,” said Hill. “When I was looking today, he don’t even understand half the things what the judge was saying.”
Hill said her son admits to his role in some of the crimes, but disputes some of the facts laid out by prosecutors.
“All kids out there acting up for attention,” she said. “We don’t know what all these kids go through sometimes. Instead of throwing the book at them, we should find other solutions.”
Adams said Hilliard would likely be in a juvenile detention center until the age of 17 and then transition to adult prison after that.
His mother said she wishes prosecutors had charged her son as a juvenile.
“I know he’s a good child and he deserves a second chance,” she said.
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