Defendants want Thornton murder case moved to juvenile court

The three Arkansas teenagers charged with the second-degree murder of Juneau teen Kevin Thornton appeared in court in Hot Spring County, Ark. on Monday.


According to local newspaper the Malvern Daily Record, the three defendants went before 7th Circuit Court Judge Ed M. Koon with attorney Gregory Crain with a motion to have the case transferred to juvenile court. The newspaper reports a hearing on the motion will be held on May 1.

Attorneys for Richard Shelby Whybark, 18, Timothy Tyler Norwood, 17, and Clinton Lavon Ross, 16, filed motions last fall requesting the case be dismissed or transferred to a juvenile division of circuit court. Arkansas Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Richard Garrett argued against it, saying in court documents a transfer to juvenile court is not warranted in this case.

Thornton, 19, a 2010 graduate of Thunder Mountain High School, was visiting friends and family in Arkansas over the summer when he was attacked on July 20 while walking with a friend on a county road in Glen Rose, a small town about 45 miles southwest of Little Rock. Thornton died from his injuries at a hospital a week later.

Whybark, Norwood, Ross and a 14-year-old boy were charged in connection with his death, though charges against the 14-year-old were dropped.

The three suspects all face charges of second-degree murder and engaging in violent criminal group activity, according to court documents.

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