Teen waives jury trial for preschooler killing

AP News
Posted: Apr 07, 2011 3:38 PM
Teen waives jury trial for preschooler killing

A California judge in Fresno County has agreed to decide the fate of a Mendota teenager accused of molesting and killing a 4-year-old neighbor.

The Fresno Bee reports that 15-year-old Raul Castro waived his right to a jury trial Wednesday and asked Superior Court Judge Jonathan Conklin to hear the case.

Conklin agreed to the unusual move after prosecutors didn't object. The trial is expected to start April 15.

Castro is accused of killing Alex Mercado in October 2009. The boy's body was found inside a clothes dryer in Castro's apartment on Halloween.

Castro is charged with five felony counts, including murder, kidnapping and forcible lewd acts on a child. He faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 47 years if convicted of all charges.