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A 17-year-old Florida boy was charged with attempted murder and weapons possession after he allegedly shot his girlfriend’s former boyfriend in the face with a sawed-off shotgun on the morning of May 12. The boy’s 18-year-old girlfriend has also been charged with attempted murder. Police claim that she urged the boy to shoot her former boyfriend if he appeared at her home. If he is convicted, the boy could face a more severe sentence as reports indicate that prosecutors will argue that he was lying in wait when the victim arrived.

Deputies from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a Callahan residence at approximately 6:30 a.m. to investigate reports of a shooting. When they arrived at the Janice Street home, deputies say that they discovered a 21-year-old man who had suffered a gunshot wound to his face. Paramedics were then called to the scene to rush the badly injured man to an area trauma center. Initial media reports do not reveal whether or not the man is expected to recover from his injuries.

After a brief investigation, deputies determined that the boy had been hiding behind a trash can waiting for the victim to arrive. The man is said to have visited the home to reconcile with his former girlfriend and resolve issues he had with her new boyfriend. The woman and boy allegedly discussed shooting the man before he arrived.

There are several mitigating factors that criminal defense attorneys could raise during plea negotiations when presented with a set of facts like these. While the penalties for murder are severe in Florida, attorneys with criminal law-violent crimes experience could argue that a more lenient approach should be taken when the defendant is a minor. Attorneys may also point out the support the defendant receives from family members and friends and their genuine remorse over the incident.