Judge denies Clinton teen’s bid to move murder case to juvenile court
CLINTON Co., Iowa (KWQC) - The case of a Clinton teenager charged in the shooting death of a man in July will remain in adult court, a judge has ruled.
Kyler Jay Andresen, 17, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Zachary McDivitt. In Iowa, juveniles 16 and older that face a forcible felony, such as murder, are automatically tried as an adult.
His attorney, Mary Wolfe, filed a motion in August to transfer the case to juvenile court and argued that there are reasonable prospects for rehabilitating Andresen under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction if he is adjudicated delinquent.
“In addition, waiver of the district court’s jurisdiction over Defendant for the alleged commission of the public offense would be in the best interests of Defendant and of the community,” she wrote in the motion.
Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf filed a resistance to the motion on Sept. 2. In the resistance, he argued that if the judge transferred the case, juvenile court services would have two options to address Andresen: community supervision and placement at the state training school.
“If the charge remains in District Court, and if the defendant were found guilty, the Iowa Department of Corrections would have adequate time and resources to address the defendant’s behaviors and ensure compliance and community safety,” he wrote in the motion.
In a written ruling filed Sept. 9, Judge Stuart Werling opined that there was no good cause to transfer the case to juvenile court and there are no reasonable prospects to rehabilitate Andresen - who turns 18 in November - if he is under the supervision of the juvenile court.
“Based on the seriousness of Kyler’s social and societal issues, there simply is not sufficient time to offer him meaningful rehabilitative services through our juvenile court system before he ages out,” the judge wrote. “Because of the seriousness of the offense charged, the court must consider the reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation before Kyler is released into the community.”
Andresen will be back in court Sept. 30 for a pretrial conference. A hearing on a motion to hold him in the Clinton County Jail pending trial also will be heard that day, court records show.
Around 10:39 p.m. July 20, the Clinton Police Department was dispatched to the 100 block of North 5th Street in Clinton and found McDivitt suffering from a gunshot wound.
He was transported to Mercy One Emergency Department in Clinton where he died.
Officers later searched a home and located Andresen, according to an arrest affidavit.
In an interview with police, Andresen admitted that he shot McDivitt and provided officers with the location of the gun he hid inside the home, according to the affidavit.
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