This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, March 11, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight, a shocking crime. A 12-year-old special education student was stabbed 34 times and beaten to death. The suspects are two 13-year-olds, who were 12 at the time of the crime. Tonight they are being charged as adults, the youngest murder defendants in Washington state to be tried as adults. Joining us from Seattle is Brent de Young, the lawyer for one of the suspects.
BRENT DE YOUNG, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thanks. Glad to be here.
VAN SUSTEREN: Brent, why is it they're being tried as adults? What did the judge say?
DE YOUNG: Well, basically, the judge weighed in on the factor that he felt that as long as possible that these boys are kept incarcerated that that would provide the community with extra safety, which, of course, we don't agree with.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did it have anything to do with the fact that he thought that they could not be rehabilitated or that the state didn't have the resources to -- to address a juvenile in custody for such a serious crime?
DE YOUNG: I believe that that's a pretty accurate interpretation because I think what the judge was saying, that there could be no guarantees of that in the future.
VAN SUSTEREN: Brent, a lot of 12-year-olds are older than others, and a lot are sort of quite young, I mean, less mature. How do you describe your client?
DE YOUNG: Very immature. I know the young lad who was killed was a special needs student, he was described. All three of the boys were in special education. My client was about -- about three or four years behind his grade. He essentially functioned at a 2nd-grade level.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is -- I mean, I know the case is just advancing, but have you revealed what your defense is, whether it's I didn't do it, a self-defense or some other defense?
DE YOUNG: Yes, based upon all the information we have, we strongly believe our clients are innocent and the police investigation was severely lacking in many areas.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was there blood -- I read at least one place, though, that the victim's blood was found on at least one of the 12-year-olds. Is that not correct?
DE YOUNG: That is correct. On the other boy, some blood was found on him. Essentially, the boys saw the other boy fall out of a tree and had cut himself. And what happened was, the boys lied and didn't tell the police immediately what happened. They thought they would receive a pretty good thrashing if they did do that and were quite frightened, so -- but finally, when confronted by their parents, they told the truth, which was immediately forwarded over to the police. And immediately at that point, the police investigation focused in on the two boys.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. The victim who was a special needs child, stabbed 34 times and beaten -- do you know what he was beaten with?
DE YOUNG: That was inconclusive. It was -- the forensic examiner couldn't say exactly what he was beaten with.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, tell me the circumstances of the -- of the death of this young special needs boy. What do you know about it? Where was he? What time of day was it?
DE YOUNG: Essentially, it happened in the late afternoon, early evening. It was February, so the days really weren't that long. Drizzly conditions out at that time. And the boys were playing out with him in the park, which they've done before. They had played together before. And I think they were out there for a couple of minutes. And both of the boys were playing in a tree with the other boy who was killed, and the boy apparently fell out of a tree and had struck his head, and which caused some bleeding. The boys, you know, became frightened at that point. They went back to the other boy's house. And my client then was taken home to the neighboring town, which is about 20 minutes away. And at that point, the child was phoned in very quickly as missing.
VAN SUSTEREN: And is it your defense that during that space of time that someone came in and stabbed him 34 times and beat him?
DE YOUNG: Essentially, yes. The crime -- the medical examiner's report made it pretty clear that this was almost in the nature of a crime of passion, something very severe and sustained, something which is not usual for what you'd see for, certainly, 12-year-old boys.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Brent. We'll be watching this crime to see what happens at the trial. Thank you, sir.
DE YOUNG: Thank you.
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