RAGLAND, Ala. (WIAT)- Dillon Salers is fifteen years old on paper, but in the eyes of a St. Clair County judge he has committed adult crimes. Salers is charged in the hanging death of his nine-year old sister, Katelynn Arnold. A hearing that started on Monday, concluded Wednesday evening, and resulted in the adjudication that he will stand trial as an adult. “It was such a cruel and heinous crime,” says Ragland Police Chief James Brown, adding, “According to the forensic psychologist, he was mentally competent and had an average IQ for a kid his age.”
Charles Salvagio has defended many capital murder inmates, and he says the approach is no different for a juvenile or an adult. “It doesn’t really change. You defend someone whether they’re an adult or a semi-juvenile,” he said.
Even if convicted, Salers cannot face the death penalty because he is younger than sixteen. No trial date has been set.