SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) The lead suspect in the Maddy Middleton murder case has pled guilty to all charges against him, according to the Santa Cruz District Attorney's Office.
Adrian Gonzalez, the defendant in the Maddy Middleton case plead guilty to all charges on Tuesday. This includes the kinapping, rape, murder, and molestation of Maddy Middleton who was only 8 years old.
At the time of the murder, Gonzalez was fifteen years old and 9 months, just three months shy of 16.
In this case, those three months stand as a crucial barrier to Gonzalez being charged as an adult.
The Santa Cruz district attorney, Jeff Rosell, says it's been a fight to try to have him convicted as an adult.
The bill that the district attorney was against is senate bill 1391.
"We fought Senate Bill 1391 which was passed and it essentially says that nobody under the age of 16 can ever be tried as an adult under any circumstance. One size fits all legislation," says Rosell.
In an interview with KION in February, Larry Biggan, Gonzalez's attorney argues that in juvenile court, minors have the chance at rehabilitation.
"He responded very well to the programming, the services, the support, and the structure of the hall. Kids can get treatment and aren't just thrown into an adult prison where they're going to learn very bad habits," says Biggam.
Gonzalez is currently 21 and could be released from the juvenile justice system at 25.