OLATHE, Kan. — A 14-year-old charged in a deadly shooting at Olathe’s Black Bob Park will now be prosecuted as an adult.
On Tuesday, Jacobi Deonte Epting was waived to adult status in Johnson County. He’s been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Marco Cardino.
Epting had his first court appearance on Wednesday, appearing by video conference. His mother asked the judge for a reduction of his $1 million bond.
But prosecutors made clear that was not something they were going to go for, believing the teen is the shooter who took Cardino’s life. A judge denied the bond reduction request.
Epting will be back in court on Jan. 11, and at that time, he will be with his newly appointed public defender.
FOX4 called the teen’s mother twice, but we have not heard back.
Epting is one of seven teenagers charged in Cardino’s death.
A court filing says the teens took masks and a gun with them when they went to Black Bob Park to buy drugs from Cardino. The document also says one of the teenagers told investigators she believed the other teenagers planned ahead to steal the marijuana from Cardino.
Judge Brenda Cameron ruled there was sufficient evidence presented during a week-long hearing that the shooting was committed in “an aggressive, violent, willful, and premeditated manner,” court records say.
The Kansas City Star reports that prosecutors called the other teens as witnesses, who testified that the robbery was Epting’s idea and he fired the gun.
Two other 14-year-olds have already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and are still in juvenile court.
An 18-year-old, who was 17 at the time of the alleged crime, also pleaded guilty Tuesday to reduced charges of aggravated battery and distribution of marijuana.
Another 14-year-old has already pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges, but prosecutors have requested to certify them as adults as well.
Finally, two 13-year-olds have been charged in relation to the deadly shooting. One has since pleaded guilty to interference with law enforcement. The other pleaded not guilty to charges last year.
Kansas law does not allow 13-year-olds to be tried as adults.