Kids 16 Kids Whose Crimes Were So Brutal, They Were Tried As Adults  

Mariel Loveland
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Perhaps adults commit the most heinous crimes, but this list illustrates how even kids are capable of murder. The courts considered these kids' crimes so bad - from torturing and beating toddlers to killing their parents - they tried them as adults. Some violent children offenders lash out to escape harsh realities. In the case of the Jones siblings, they attempted to escape habitual abuse in the act of revenge against their father. Other young offenders suffer from severe mental illness. In the “Slender Man Stabbing” - something straight out of a horror movie or folklore - authorities convicted both teen girls and committed them to mental hospitals. 

Then, there are the cold-hearted kid killers. These may come from a macabre curiosity of pain and death. In the case of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, the 10-year-olds tortured and murdered a toddler in one of England's most gruesome child murders. Tyler Hadley, an American teen, celebrated his parents' slaying by throwing a party with their bodies in the house. These children and teens committed crimes so brutal the courts tried the perpetrators - even as young as 6 years old - as adults.

Anissa Weier And Morgan Geyser Stabbed A Classmate 19 Times To Impress A Fictional Demon 

Anissa Weier And Morgan Geyser... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 Kids Whose Crimes Were So Brutal, They Were Tried As Adults
Photo:  Waukesha Police Department/via People/Public Domain

In 2014, Wisconsin 12-year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser lured their classmate Payton Leutner into the woods where they stabbed her 19 times. The girls claimed they stabbed Luther to please the fictional Creepypasta boogeyman “Slender Man” and become one of his followers. They maintained they needed to commit murder to prove his existence and save their families from his wrath. Leutner miraculously survived after crawling to the sidewalk where a cyclist spotted her.  

Courts tried both Weier and Geyser as adults and charged them with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Geyser pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2017 but claimed she was not criminally responsible because of her mental state. During her sentencing, doctors reported she heard voices from someone named "Maggie." She received a 40-year sentence in a psychiatric institution.

Weier pleaded guilty in August 2017 - but to second-degree attempted intentional homicide. Prosecutors claimed she too was mentally ill and not criminally responsible, so she received a sentence of 25 years in a psychiatric institution.

Denver Jarvis, Michael Bent, And Jesus Mendez Set Friend On Fire Over $40

Denver Jarvis, Michael Bent, A... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 Kids Whose Crimes Were So Brutal, They Were Tried As Adults
Photo:  Broward Sheriff's Office/via NBC Miami/Public Domain

In 2009, authorities arrested five Florida teenagers for setting 15-year-old Michael Brewer on fire over a $40 video game-related debt. When Brewer couldn't pay up, Michael Bent stole Brewer's father's bicycle and orchestrated a violent attack. The group of attackers held down Brewer while Denver Jarvis poured rubbing alcohol on him. Jesus Mendez pulled out a lighter and ignited the teen. The fire was so severe Brewer's clothes burned off his body as he desperately tried to stop, drop, and roll in the front yard. He eventually jumped into a pool to extinguish the flames and suffered severe burns over 65 percent of his body.

Three of the five teens involved - Denver Jarvis and Michael Bent, both 15, and Jesus Mendez, 16 - were charged with attempted second-degree murder and tried as adults. Courts sentenced both Bent and Mendez to 11 years in prison, with their charges reduced to aggravated battery. Mendez also got 19 years of probation. Jarvis received a sentence of eight years in prison with 10 years of supervised community probation.

10-Year-Olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables Tortured And Murdered A Toddler

10-Year-Olds Robert Thompson a... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 Kids Whose Crimes Were So Brutal, They Were Tried As Adults
Photo:  Killing Time/Facebook/Fair Use

In February 1993, two Liverpool 10-year-olds, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, led 2-year-old James Bulger away from a shopping center parking lot in Bootle. The boys took him to Leeds and Liverpool Canal where they dropped him on his head, to which he began crying. As many as 38 bystanders didn't intervene. Only two people challenged the 10-year-old boys who said the toddler was their brother.

Venables and Thompson eventually took Bulger to train tracks, where they tortured him. They put blue paint in his eyes, then kicked, stepped on, and threw rocks at him. They made him eat batteries, and police believe the boys may have also inserted batteries into the 2-year-old's anus. Then the boys dropped a 22-pound railway bar on Bulgar's head, which fatally broke his skull in 10 places. Collectively, Bulger sustained 42 injuries.

According to The Telegraph, the boys were "ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, the normal substitute sentence for life imprisonment when the offender is a juvenile." In an unprecedented court order, the convicted murderers were given new identities and released in 2001, although Venables has been in and out of jail ever since for distributing images of abused children.

Curtis And Catherine Jones Killed Their Father's Girlfriend With His Gun

Curtis And Catherine Jones Kil... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 16 Kids Whose Crimes Were So Brutal, They Were Tried As Adults
Photo:  Nawaf Abas/Facebook/Fair Use

On January 1999, Curtis and Catherine Jones were 12 and 13 years old, respectively, when they took their father's gun and shot his 29-year-old girlfriend, Sonya Speights, to death. Original allegations claimed the siblings committed the crime out of jealousy. However, reports from Florida’s Department of Children and Families uncovered that a different male relative who was living in the Cocoa Beach household sexually abused the children. Allegedly, neither their father nor Speights did anything after they told them of this abuse, so the siblings conspired to kill their abusive relative, their father, and Speights.

Both of the siblings pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, were tried as adults, and received 18 years in prison with life-long probation. Even after the trial, Catherine Jones maintained she regretted hurting someone but she had to “get away from her abuse.”  Curtis became one of the youngest convicted killers in history at just 12 years old. In 2015, they were released from prison.