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Teen gets 15 months in Brownsville stabbing

"Bremerton youth Melvin A. Xavier, 17, was sentenced Monday to 15 months in adult prison after pleading guilty in Superior Court to assault and robbery charges for his role in last month's drug-related stabbing in Brownsville.If convicted in juvenile court, Xavier could have served a maximum of 80-100 weeks on each charge, said deputy county prosecutor Jennifer Forbes. Under adult court guidelines, each count carried a sentencing range of 15-20 months, which run concurrently.Superior Court Judge M. Karlynn Haberly conducted a hearing to determine whether the youth, who has a criminal record dating back to age 13, should be tried in adult court. She tried the case in adult court after the youth waived his right to a jury trial.Haberly said she reached the decision to decline jurisdiction to adult court based on the police report, and that Melvin was unlikely to be rehabilitated through the juvenile system.Haberly also noted the seriousness of the offense, and Xavier's previous criminal history.Xavier will get credit for time served in the juvenile facility since his arrest a day after the Feb. 21 stabbing on Paulson Road, Haberly said.The youth also will serve 36 months of community supervision, or parole.Xavier told the judge he understood that the conviction counts as his first strike under the state's three-strike law.Two more and I go to prison for life, he acknowledged.The 21-year-old Bremerton victim and his parents, as well as Xavier's mother and girlfriend, were also in court.We express our grief and sorrow for the actions that occurred to the victim, said the girlfriend in asking for the minimum sentence for Xavier. We know Melvin understands his wrong.Xavier apologized to his family and girlfriend, and told the victim and his family, God has given me the strength to ask that you forgive me, you and your family.Haberly added Violent crimes affect people's lives forever. ... The prison program will be extremely difficult but (the hope is) through it you will obtain some treatment, and turn your life around. Apparently there's quite a bit of family support.Forbes said Xavier might serve his time at the state's new Clallam Bay facility, where many juvenile offenders are placed, because of the facility's educational programs. She said the juveniles are kept separate from the adult prison population for safety and education reasons.We have to by law educate anyone under 18, she said.That's one of the reasons Xavier was returned to the juvenile detention facility rather than jail after his sentencing.The jail doesn't have school, Forbes said.She said although second-degree assault and second-degree robbery each count as a strike under the three-strike law, because both were committed in the same crime it will count as one strike for Xavier.The victim's father was concerned about repercussions to his son because of the incident.The victim allegedly was attempting to sell an undisclosed amount of marijuana to Xavier when the deal went bad.The victim told police Xavier stabbed him in the face and chest, stole the marijuana and fled into the woods around Paulson Road.Forbes said she didn't know if charges would be brought against the victim. At this point I don't expect any charges, based on 'corpus delecti'. All we have is his statement that he was delivering (marijuana) but no evidence to prove it, she said.The victim could be charged if more evidence comes to light, she added. "

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