VINITA — A Craig County judge has denied a Vinita teen’s request to be tried as a juvenile in the fatal shooting of his father’s fiancee.
Special Judge Rebecca Gore ruled, late last month, however, that Koalten Glenn Orr, 15, will be tried as a youthful offender.
Orr was charged Aug. 25, 2016, as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Hendrix, 38. Orr was 14 when Hendrix was shot in the chest three days earlier.
“It was pretty disheartening,” Jim Hendrix, Laura Hendrix’s father, said of the ruling. “The judge goes on a rant about 30 minutes about what he [Orr] did wrong and then says he’ll be tried as a youthful offender.”
The state’s Youthful Offender Act allows some teenagers who are convicted of serious crimes the opportunity for release into the community after completing treatment programs that often include therapy, continuing education and not being charged with new crimes.
The ruling states that Orr had “poor coping skills, anger management problems, and low empathy/low remorse for his actions” and said that while the teen expressed a desire for help, “his words do not always match his deeds.”
Orr displays regret for his situation but displays no empathy over Hendrix’s death, the judge said.
“The Office of Juvenile Affairs indicates that Mr. Orr can be rehabilitated through the juvenile or youthful offender system,” the order states.
Orr walked into the Vinita Police Department and confessed to shooting Hendrix, saying he had been molested and “was tired of the abuse,” an arrest affidavit states.
Police Chief Bobby Floyd Jr. said there had been no previous allegations.
Orr told police he thought Hendrix was going to touch him inappropriately that morning and that he shot her as she walked out of a bathroom and down the hall toward him, the affidavit states.
Jim Hendrix said Orr later recanted the sexual abuse allegations.
Hendrix said he thinks the shooting happened because his daughter made a lot of rules that Orr didn’t like.
Under youthful offender guidelines, the Office of Juvenile Affairs could keep jurisdiction over Orr until his 18th birthday or, if he doesn’t successfully complete his treatment program, bridge him over to the Department of Corrections.