Juanly Pena, 14, is charged with shooting his 9-year-old brother to death at their home. Credit: File photo
A Mattapan teen faces a longer jail sentence after being indicted for allegedly accidentally shooting his younger brother, killing him.
Juanly Pena, 14, accidentally shot his 9-year-old brother, Janmarcos Pena, inside their Mattapan home in February, authorities said. The teen pleaded not guilty during arraignment Monday morning as a youthful offender instead of a juvenile. He was indicted earlier this month on charges of manslaughter and illegal gun possession.
Typically, cases of juveniles are heard out of the public realm and the names of offenders are not released. However, because of the youthful offender indictment, Pena's case is a matter of public record, and he could face penalties that an adult would face for the same crimes.
Authorities said Pena had stopped going to school after being arrested for fighting. On Feb. 7, while his mother was outside at her car in her attempt to find homeschooling for the teen, his brother and sister were inside playing video games.
At one point Pena approached his brother and alleged squeezed the trigger. Authorities said Pena told investigators he thought the gun wasn't loaded because he removed the magazine. However, a round was still in the chamber.
"The evidence does not suggest that the defendant found a handgun and accidentally shot someone while playing with it," said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley. "It suggests that the defendant procured the weapon on his own initiative and, though apparently believing it to be unloaded, pulled the trigger while it was pointed at his brother. We believe that wanton and reckless conduct cost Janmarcos Pena his life."
Authorities said they are still investigating how Pena obtained the gun.
The shooting of the young boy sparked the push for a citywide gun buyback program that was launched earlier this year and has so far collected hundreds of guns.