Judge's praise of teen killer draws fire from victim's family - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Judge's praise of teen killer draws fire from victim's family

Updated:
WAGONER, Okla. (AP) _ A judge and juvenile officials applauded teenage killer Daniel Harley Dillingham for progressing in his juvenile treatment program, but family members of Dillingham's victim say their relative is being forgotten.

Special District Judge Sandy Crosslin told Dillingham she's pleased with his treatment progress, parental support and hard work at school and a janitorial job while at the L.E. Rader Treatment Center in Sand Springs.

``That's all we can ask,'' Crosslin said during a review hearing Friday in Wagoner County District Court. ``I want you to keep working.''

Dillingham has been in custody since his capture in the Dec. 8, 2003, killing of Carl Andy Robinson on a Porter school bus. Then 15, Dillingham stabbed Robinson in the back and chest with a large kitchen knife, reports show. Robinson, 16, died on the bus.

Robinson's family complain that he is all but forgotten as the juvenile justice system rushes to make Dillingham a free man.

``The reason is that Andy is not important,'' said Daymond Hardin, Robinson's stepfather. ``This tells Wagoner County that you kill somebody, and you're the victim.''

Associate District Judge Darrell Shepherd initially ordered Dillingham to stand trial as an adult in the slaying, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals overturned that ruling.

The appellate judges said Dillingham should be prosecuted as youthful offender.

The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs must relinquish supervision of a youthful offender by his 20th birthday unless he is bridged into an adult prison.

Dillingham pleaded no contest to killing Robinson and was assigned to the Rader Center in September 2004. He is completing the fourth of five treatment phases required of offenders before they can be released.

Crosslin set Dillingham's next review hearing for Dec. 8.

Robinson's family noted later that the date is the third anniversary of the killing.

``I can't believe she put the court date on the day that Andy was killed,'' said Dee Sanders, Robinson's grandmother. ``It's all about poor little Dillingham.''

Crosslin could not be reached for comment.
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