Surprise teen to be tried as juvenile in shooting death of friend

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SURPRISE, Ariz. - A judge in the ongoing case of a Surprise 14-year-old accused of shooting his friend in the head said the teen will be tried as a juvenile, not as an adult.

Prosecutors are calling the teenage suspect a drug king pin and the syndicate leader of a "sophisticated drug ring."

The 14-year-old defendant has been charged with negligent homicide in the shooting death of Juan Vergara, 14.

Investigators said on Sept. 16 the defendant was sitting in his room with two other teenagers when Vergara was shot in the head.

Since the shooting, this case has taken several twists and turns.

Police found more than half a million dollars inside the boy's home after the shooting.

Investigators said they found other guns, drugs and contracts drafted by teenagers who were allegedly dealing drugs for the 14-year-old defendant.

A detective who took the stand said the gun used in the shooting was stolen in a burglary two weeks before and that the 14-year-old defendant is a high-level drug dealer with 10 to 12 kids below him selling pot.

Despite this information, the judge felt the child would get more help being tried as a juvenile rather than in adult court.

Since the shooting nearly a month ago, the suspect's father was arrested and charged with fraud. He is accused of ripping off more than a million dollars from people in the Chicago area.