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COMMENT: Zachary Neagle sentenced, was it fair?

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on May 13, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:37 AM

It's a story that made national and international headlines. Zachary Neagle, now 15 years old, was charged with shooting and killing his own father with a hunting rifle last year. He claimed he did it because he was being sexually abused, and he feared the same would happen to his little brother and sister. He told his attorney his father had been sexually abusing him since he was 8 years old.

This case ignited a lot of passion from the people here in the Treasure Valley. It seemed everyone had an opinion about it. Some thought the claims of sexual abuse justified his actions, others felt he had other options to seek help. Some weren't sure he was ever abused at all. One thing is for certain, the pictures of him shackled and in a prison uniform sparked a lot of debate:

His supporters rallied for him at the courthouse, and the prosecutor planned to charge him as an adult for the crime. But before it ever went to trial, Neagle pleaded guilty. Yesterday, he appeared before a judge in Canyon County for sentencing.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors, he was sentenced to seven years in the juvenile corrections system. He's already served a year of that. Then on his 21st birthday he'll go back in front of the Judge to see if he can go free on adult probation. At that time, the judge could either put him on probation or send him to prison.

So what do you think? Do you think the Zachary Neagle sentence is fair?

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