(10/23/12) - He was 14 when he shot and killed a man in Flint. Tuesday, a Genesee County judge was asked to decide if Demorreaia Henry has paid his debt to society.
Demorreaia Henry, known then as 'Lil D', shot Timothy Cooke, who was sitting in a car at the Howard Estates apartment complex in January 2007.
Henry received what was called a 'blended sentence' for Cooke's murder. If he did well in a juvenile facility, he could be released when he turned 21. If not, he could be sentenced to prison.
His attorney says Henry has exceeded expectations while living without direct supervision.
"He's done well in de-escalation, the independent living. He's impressed his landlord. He's done well with his job. He's followed all the rules," said attorney John Tosto.
Henry told Judge Farah he believes he's ready. He has plans to become a barber once he is released.
"I keep a positive mind about everything. I don't have a negative mind, like, it ain't going to get any better or this ain't going to work out and all that. I try to keep my mind focused," he said.
The Genesee County prosecutor opposed the early release. Judge Farah agreed.
"All of us knew this day would eventually come where either he was going to destroy himself in juvenile custody and wind up going to prison or we would have to determine where precisely he would be released from this case," Judge Farah said.
Henry turns 21 in January. Judge Farah says holding off his release for three more months is the best thing to do. Tosto says his client can live with that.
"He wants to prove to the court he is remorseful and that he will be able to succeed in the community," Tosto said.
No one from Timothy Cooke's family was in court for Tuesday's hearing.
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