HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Prosecutors have decided to bring juvenile charges against a 12-year-old girl accused of using a loaded, stolen handgun to try to rob a suburban Detroit store, an official said.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton told The Oakland Press of Pontiac on Sunday that the case will be handled as a juvenile matter.
A magistrate handling the case raised the issue of whether the girl would be charged as an adult, but adult charges weren't sought, the sheriff's department said Monday. If she had been charged with armed robbery as an adult, she could have faced with up to life behind bars.
Authorities say the robbery attempt happened Friday night at Country Lake Market in Highland Township, about 30 miles northwest of Detroit.
The girl was wearing a bandanna during the Friday night stickup attempt, the Oakland County Sheriff's Department said. Store workers were able to overpower her until deputies arrived, the department said.
"Thankfully, this had a positive outcome, at least in terms of injury or death," Sheriff Michael Bouchard told The Detroit News.
Bouchard said the girl broke into a house to steal the gun and resisted store employees trying to subdue her.
"Plus, it was a loaded gun, with one round chambered as well, so it's very lucky that didn't discharge and hurt or kill someone," the sheriff told WWJ-AM.
Despite the bandanna, one employee said she recognized the girl.
The girl is being held at the Oakland County Children's Village.
The robbery echoes another Oakland County prosecution of a juvenile on a serious weapons charge: the murder case against then-11-year-old Nathaniel Abraham of Pontiac. Abraham was convicted of murder for using a stolen rifle to kill 18-year-old Ronnie Greene in 1997 and was held until he turned 21.
Abraham, now 25, is back behind bars serving time for dealing drugs.
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