Crime

Teen killer’s resentencing delayed until January

Michael Hernandez, who murdered his classmate in a campus bathroom at Southwood Middle in 2004, during a recent court hearing. His resentencing has been delayed until early 2016.
Michael Hernandez, who murdered his classmate in a campus bathroom at Southwood Middle in 2004, during a recent court hearing. His resentencing has been delayed until early 2016. dovalle@miamiherald.com

The resentencing of Michael Hernandez, the convicted teenaged killer of classmate Jaime Gough, has been delayed until early January.

Lawyers and a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge agreed to reschedule the hearing, which was set for Wednesday morning, after the court determined that more time was needed to gather expert witnesses.

Hernandez, then 14, received a mandatory life sentence a decade ago after being convicted of luring friend and classmate Jaime Gough, also 14, into a bathroom at Southwood Middle School, and stabbing him to death. Hernandez, tried as an adult, was given a mandatory life sentence.

But in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court did away with mandatory life sentences for juveniles, determining it was “cruel and unusual punishment.” The court ruled that those convicted should receive a resentencing after 25 years. But it did not grandfather in cases that occurred previous to the ruling.

Then in March, the Florida Supreme Court broadened the ruling, determining that any juvenile in Florida convicted of murder as an adult and sentenced to mandatory life should be permitted a new hearing.

Prosecutors and Gough’s family intend to argue that Hernandez deserves to remain in prison, and that he continues to be a threat to society and hasn’t shown remorse for the act that landed him in prison.

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