SANT A CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — A 21-year-old California man who pleaded guilty to the 2015 murder of a neighbor girl was sentenced as a juvenile Tuesday and could be released in as early as four years.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports Adrian Gonzalez entered the plea April 13 as soon as the case was transferred to juvenile court.
Gonzalez was 15 at the time 8-year-old Madyson Middleton was killed.
Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge John Salazar said he had no choice but to remove the case from the adult court system because of juvenile justice reforms.
In adult court, Gonzalez could have faced two consecutive life prison sentences.