Josh Edwards was shot and killed by a friend in Midrand in January 2021.
- Sixteen-year-old Joshua Edwards was shot and killed by a friend in Midrand in January 2021.
- was the accused He was found guilty of premeditated murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
- The state has requested a partially suspended prison sentence.
The teen who shot and killed 16-year-old Joshua Edwards was reckless, if not grossly careless, and showed no remorse for his actions.
This was part of the state’s closing arguments in the sentencing proceedings for the accused, who could not be named because he was a minor at the time of the crime.
The young man, who will turn 19 this year, appeared in Pretoria District Court on Friday.
In October last year, the teen was found guilty of murder, illegal possession of ammunition and illegal possession of a firearm.
No remorse and gross negligence
The state asked the court to issue a partially suspended prison sentence, meaning he would serve time in prison.
State Attorney General Annalee Coetzee based this report on the seriousness of the crimes committed, the behavior of the accused, and the consideration of the Children’s Justice Act.
A similar penalty was also imposed by a probation officer who found that the accused had no remorse and, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, continued to blame the deceased.
Driven by lack of insight and remorse [the probation officer] To recommend a direct prison sentence.
In addition, the probation officer indicated in his report that the teen, although convicted, still did not truly appreciate the illegality of his behavior.
The state repeated evidence that the teen had issues with authority and a history of getting in trouble at school, which resulted in his expulsion twice.
On the argument as to whether his actions constituted gross negligence, Coetzee took it a step further.
Given the facts and circumstances of the case, Coetzee said there could be no other finding than that the teen’s behavior went beyond mere negligence, and in fact constituted recklessness, or at least gross negligence.
Given his history of breaking the rules and not bowing to authority, the state argued that reformatory oversight would not work.
Piet du Plessis, the teen’s attorney, argued that a non-custodial sentence would be appropriate.
This was based on a report prepared by their probation officer.
It has been argued that an appropriate sentence including correctional supervision can be constructed to serve as punishment and retribution.
Throughout his arguments, du Plessis reiterated that an adolescent should not be punished in the normal course of a young adult, but as a child according to the law of children’s justice.
He said the law made it clear that imprisonment should only be imposed as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
Direct imprisonment in the circumstances of the case, du Plessis said, would simply destroy another life and harm the public.
He said that based on the facts, no conclusion should be made of gross negligence.
Edwards was visiting the accused at his parents’ home on January 5, 2021 where they played with a gun in his room.
The teenager had been carrying the rifle and another handgun in his room for an extended period of time.
The teen ended up shooting Edwards in the torso. Died at the scene.
News24 previously reported that Judge Adrian Baker acquitted the teen of the murder charge, finding that no case was ever brought to convict the dolus-based murder in the end, establishing legal intent as the accused should have objectively predicted his behavior. Cause someone else’s death but keep working regardless.
Instead, the teen was found guilty of premeditated murder, with Baker indicating a dangerous degree of recklessness.
He will be sentenced on September 7.