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13-year-old pleads guilty to accidentally killing friend

CINCINNATI (Rich Jaffe) -- A 13-year-old boy from Green Township admitted to shooting and killing his friend Friday morning. Hawken Hemmerle was shot and killed June 30 in his home on Marie Avenue.
The small, frail looking 13-year-old killer walked into Judge John Williams' courtroom in handcuffs. He listened carefully to what the judge said, with his mom, and grandparents just over his shoulder. A short distance away sat the family of Hawken Hemmerle, his dead friend.

According to prosecutors, the 13-year-old stole a .357 Magnum from another home in Green Township and showed up at Hemmerle's home to show off the gun. When the smoke cleared, Hemmerle was dead.

In court, lesser charges were dismissed when the teen admitted to the pair of more serious ones.

"In regards to the remained of the charges, the incorrigible, the curfew violation as well as the criminal mischief charge, in exchange for the defendant admitting to the reckless homicide and the theft, the state would move to dismiss those," said Alexis Lonneman, assistant juvenile prosecutor.

If the 13-year-old shooter had been an adult, these would have been felony charges. Even as a juvenile, he could have been kept in custody until he's 21, but his sentence now is expected to be considerably shorter.

Judge Williams will sentence the boy on August 18th. Between now and then, juvenile authorities will do a pre-sentence investigation and try to find an appropriate facility in which he will serve his time and get some help.

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