SPRINGFIELD, Missouri –
How much is a Twix bar and a can of Dr. Pepper worth, exactly? Most rational-minded people would say maybe three bucks, but Judge Rudy Simms of the Springfield Juvenile Court values the items at a month in a state prison.
Young Marcus Hall, only eight-years-old, was caught by a convenience store owner trying to steal the aforementioned items, and was detained by the owner until authorities arrived. The boy’s mother, Kasey Buckner, was contacted and arrived shortly afterwards. She was highly enraged by her son’s treatment by the authorities and the store owner. “It’s just a damn candy bar, you idiots. He’s a kid, you should let him off easy,” Buckner said.
Buckner paid for her son’s stolen items, but was unsuccessful in pleasing the store owner, Fred Nadler. “If we let the boy off with a simple warning because his mother is screaming at us, he will grow older believing his mommy can get him out of anything. The fear of God and a fear of breaking the law needs to be instilled into this boy before it is simply too late.”
The boy’s trial was a fast one – only taking around 15 minutes. Hall testified to attempting to steal the items, although he claimed he was pressured by a friend to do so. When asked who the friend was, the boy said he didn’t want to share his friend’s identity. The jury decision took only a few minutes and came around with a guilty verdict. Judge Simms sentenced the boy to one month at the Springfield state prison.
This case has sparked controversy nationwide, with many parents feeling their children could suffer the same “unfair” judgment with such a harsh precedent set. Alicia West, a single mother of two from Colorado Springs, stated in a social media post, “Children should be loved, not punished, for committing crimes. Juvenile hall would have scarred this boy for life, but now actual, full-blown prison? He’s likely to be raped by some pedo in there, and with nobody to blame but the American court system.”
Nadler approved of the boy’s sentencing and said, “Even though the young man is serving his time for the crime committed, I will be cautious about ever letting him back into my store.”