LANCASTER – A jailed teenage boy who killed another with a baseball bat made a brief appearance Friday in court, sharing hugs with family members but getting no closer to his hope for a reduced sentenced. A resentencing hearing for the Palmdale youth whose murder conviction was reduced to voluntary manslaughter was postponed because a new attorney is coming in to handle his case. Greg Harris Jr., now 15, entered Lancaster Juvenile Court wearing silver-rimmed glasses, a light-gray sweat shirt and dark pants, about a head taller and more hefty than when he last appeared in court in 2005. After the short hearing, Harris was allowed to hug his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and family friends before going back to the court lockup. While they stood in line at the snack bar, Rourke teased Harris about losing a game and pushed him, witnesses said. Harris hit Rourke in the knee with an aluminum bat, then seconds later hit him on the neck, severing an artery. The maximum penalty for voluntary manslaughter is 11 years. Second-degree murder carries a term of 15 years to life. [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A state appeals court in January threw out Harris’ second-degree murder conviction for killing 15-year-old Jeremy Rourke and ordered he be resentenced on the lesser charge. Harris was sentenced in July 2005 to the California Youth Authority until he is 25. Rourke’s parents also attended the hearing. The appellate court found that Harris, 13 at the time, did not harbor an intent to kill. The appellate decision noted Juvenile Court Judge Richard Naranjo’s statement about Harris’ emotional state – that he was upset, angered and “in the heat of passion.” Rourke, a Highland High School freshman described by family and friends as an avid athlete who enjoyed being a junior umpire, died within hours of being hit in the head April 12, 2005, at the Palmdale PONY League baseball complex, where he was a spectator.
Rescuers break efforts to herd whales to sea
IRS won’t hold TurboTax glitch against late filers