The DA is Right: Robertino DeAngelis Should Be Tried as a Juvenile

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

In yet another twist on an already strange case, the family of a Mt. Lebanon girl injured in a 2007 hammer attack yesterday launched a public campaign to force the district attorney to press to have her alleged attacker tried as an adult.

Calling it “Adult Time for Adult Crime,” the family of Sarah DeIuliis has retained a South Hills public relations firm, and opened a Web site as well as a page on Facebook to demand that Robertino DeAngelis, 17, be tried as an adult for the attack. The Web site provides an e-mail address and telephone number for the DA’s office for visitors to use in pressing the case.

“It is our contention that the district attorney’s office presented an ineffective case against DeAngelis,” said Grace DeIuliis, Sarah’s mother, in a release issued by Forge Communications. “Trying this defendant as an adult should have been a no-brainer.”

The family hired a PR firm to force the case to adult court.  Without knowing all the details — and we do not — the case is tragic on many levels:

The hiring of a PR firm for a public campaign to force the case back into criminal court marked the latest turn in a public spectacle growing out of the Oct. 31, 2007, attack. Police charged Mr. DeAngelis with attempted homicide, saying he beat Ms. DeIuliis with a hammer when the pair met to exchange property after they broke up. Police said the attack was halted by an off-duty county detective who was nearby, and Mr. DeAngelis then attempted to kill himself by jumping in front of a light rail transit train.

He survived, but his lawyer, Patrick Thomassey, says he has undergone multiple surgeries.

The criminal justice system must seek justice at all times, not vengance.

The DA is right in this case, and the victim’s family can do irreperable harm to the case by these continued attempts to try the Mr. DeAngelis in the media.