Judge sides with defense, Jenks teen Joshua Mooney to be charged as youthful offender in murder case

TULSA COUNTY, Okla. - A 14-year-old accused of breaking into a Jenks home and murdering a woman before taking her car will be charged as a youthful offender, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Joshua Mooney had previously been charged as an adult and had faced counts of first-degree murder and second-degree burglary in the death of 47-year-old Mary Escue, but chose to appeal.

READ: "14-year-old charged as adult" (http://bit.ly/1aupyul)

Escue, who lived in Nevada and was visiting her parents and children for a University of Tulsa graduation, was found slumped over in a chair with a gunshot wound to her head Dec. 17.

Mooney was arrested the next day and has since admitted to killing Escue after she arrived at the home midway through the teen's break-in attempt. Mooney told authorities he felt her death was necessary to make sure no one could identify him.

The judge ruled in favor of Mooney despite a state motion to uphold Mooney's adult status filed Tuesday. The affidavit highlighted a number of factors supporting the argument, specifically the former Jenks student's troubled past.

Since 2011, Mooney has had "at least 17 previous contacts with law enforcement," including animal cruelty, multiple burglaries and shooting children with a BB gun, according to the documents. The teen was also reportedly caught with a "shank" at David Moss jail after Escue's murder.

Mooney is next due in court June 24.

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