A second teenager accused of taking part in the killing of Dionecia Valencia almost one year ago will also be tried as an adult, a visiting Tuolumne County Superior Court judge ruled on Friday.
Nikalus Overstreet, 17, sat next to his Sonora-based attorney, Clint Parish, behind a table in the courtroom as Judge Frank Dougherty announced his ruling that followed a three-day hearing earlier this month to determine whether the teenager would remain in the juvenile justice system.
“Judge Frank Dougherty is a top notch judge and wrote a top notch order, but I disagree with the findings,” Parish said in an interview after the hearing on Friday.
Members of Overstreet’s family who were in the courtroom wept as the decision was announced, while members of Valencia’s family who were in attendance also wiped tears from their eyes.
People from both families declined to comment after the hearing.
Overstreet was then escorted to a vehicle parked outside of the courthouse to be taken back to a juvenile detention facility where he has remained in custody since his arrest a day after Valencia was killed on Aug. 12 last year.
Gage Stokes, 17, is also accused of taking part in the killing of Valencia, who was 39 when she died. Presiding Judge Donald Segerstrom ruled that Stokes will be tried as an adult on July 14.
Both boys were 16 at the time of Valencia’s death.
Parish said he will next be asking the criminal court to appoint Overstreet a separate attorney to file what’s called a petition for extraordinary writ, which is the way to appeal a ruling that a juvenile should be tried as an adult.
Dougherty said that Overstreet willremain in custody at the juvenile detention facility until either the conclusion of his case or when he turns 18, at which point he would be transferred to the county jail.
Overstreet’s bail was set at $1 million by Dougherty, the same amount that Segerstrom set for Stokes.
See Saturday's Union Democrat for the full story.
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