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News: Crime

Teen Who Attacked Elderly Couple Released Early; Family Wants Answers

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa family can't understand how a 15-year-old got released just six months after getting a 15-year sentence.

The teenager pleaded guilty to breaking into a home and beating A 73-year-old woman with a shovel and stabbing her 79-year-old husband in the head.

The family didn't expect the boy to serve the full 15 years, but they at least think he should've been in custody until he turned 18.

Doug and Mary have been married almost 60 years and have lived in their home for most of that.

On Thanksgiving day 2015, three teenagers broke in looking for something to steal.

"They beat my mom with a shovel 23 times, wanting car keys," said David, the victims' son.

Two of the boys were 14 and went to juvenile detention. No one knows what happened to them, because those records are sealed.

But the 15-year-old was sentenced as a youthful offender to 15 years. 

"The judge said this is an 85 percent crime, he'll serve percent, but he's out," David said.

Records show he went to a group home last June, and was sent home to his mother in February.

Reports say he's doing well, enrolled in a Tulsa high school, is keeping up his grades, going to counseling and joined a track team.

His attorney says the boy is remorseful.

"If he's doing good, I'm proud of him, but do the time," David said.

As a youthful offender, if he breaks the law again, the judge could send him to prison to serve that 15 years and that's when the 85 percent would come into play.

If he stays out of trouble until he's 18, the judge could still send him to prison but it's more likely, he'll end up with probation or have the charges dismissed altogether.

Attorneys for both sides say it's a constant balancing act to try to turn these teenage criminals into law abiding citizens, versus giving the victims some justice.

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