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Hearing Will Determine if Teen Accused in JJ Clavo’s Death Should be Tried as Adult

SACRAMENTO -- The long-awaited hearing to see if the suspect in the killing of a Grant High School football player should be tried as an adult began Wednesday.

"I don’t think it’s fair that a 15-year-old can pick up a gun and shoot into an occupied vehicle," said Nicole Clavo.

Nicole Clavo, the mother of 17-year-old JJ Clavo, broke down on the witness stand describing the loss of her pride and joy, saying her entire family is still suffering from his death.

Three years ago, the outgoing football player was killed and another boy injured when shots were fired into his car.

Police say Keymontae Lindsey, 15 years old at the time, was the shooter. He was charged as an adult and faced 20 plus years in prison but a change in state law sent him to juvenile court to determine if he should face adult charges.

Nicole Clavo took the stand to tell a judge that the suspect was well aware of the dangers of guns and fired into a car of high school football players anyway. She said Lindsey’s mother had taken him to a gun range.

"He was familiar with using weapons. He knew the consequences of using a weapon and the dangers of a weapon," she said.

The judge must decide if Lindsey could be rehabilitated in the juvenile system, where he must be released at age 24.

Nicole Clavo says her son was not afforded the same consideration.

"The court says you can give them the classes, you can teach them whatever you like while they’re in prison. That does not mean they should be able come out and live a life that the life they took will not be able to enjoy," Nicole Clavo said.

She is especially upset that on the governor’s desk is a bill that would prevent 14- and 15-year-olds from being tried as an adult.

"I don’t think the voices of the victims were heard," Nicole Clavo said. "I don’t think we were consulted. I don’t think we had the opportunity to give an opinion."

On the witness stand was a forensic psychologist, who outlined Lindsey’s exposure to numerous violent shootings and domestic violence when he was as young as 5 years old. It set up the argument that he could be successfully treated.