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$250,000 bail set for 12-year-old who fired gun

A juvenile court judge surprised prosecutors when he set bail at $250,000 for a 12-year-old boy charged with firing a gun in the city.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A juvenile court judge shocked prosecutors by setting bail at $250,000 for a 12-year-old boy charged with firing a gun in the city.

The district attorney’s office had asked for only $5,000 bail when the boy was arraigned Tuesday on a juvenile weapons possession charge.

Judge Paul D. Lewis said he’d lost patience with youth violence after 23 years on the juvenile bench.

“These kids don’t take responsibility for anything,” the judge told The Boston Globe after Tuesday’s ruling. “They’re fearless. It’s out of control. It’s beyond out of control.”

The boy’s lawyer, Mariann Samaha, said he is developmentally disabled and has never before been in trouble with the law. She plans to appeal the bail ruling.

The boy, whose name was withheld because of his age, allegedly fired a .38-caliber handgun Monday evening on a street corner in the South End. Police officers heard the shot and saw the youth running off. He later approached the officers and handed them the loaded gun, wrapped in a bandanna, police said.

Police said Wednesday there were a couple other youngsters with the boy, but there is no indication he pointed the gun at anyone. Police didn’t know if the bullet hit anything.

Prosecutors felt that $5,000 was fair, said spokesman David Procopio.

Mayor Thomas Menino applauded the high bail.

“You have to send messages that we’re not going to tolerate guns on the street,” he said.