Families await mental evaluation of teen accused in Marty Cobb murder

Posted at 8:44 AM, Sep 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-09 14:16:41-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The teenager accused in the brutal murder of eight-year-old Marty Cobb appeared in court Tuesday. The results of 16-year-old Mairese Washington's mental evaluation could determine whether he will be charged with additional crimes in this case. The results of the mental evaluation have not yet been released.

The teen was in court Tuesday dressed in an orange jail suit. Several members of his family were also present, however they refused to speak with CBS 6 after leaving the courthouse. But some in the community, who have been following the case had plenty to say.

"Oh my God, was he really mentally disturbed? That was my question," one Richmond mother who only gave her first name of Nikki said.

In July, a judge ordered Washington to take the evaluation to determine whether the teen could face additional charges in connection to the May 1 beating.
Washington was arrested after police said he used a brick to beat Cobb to death. Cobb was reportedly trying to defend his 12-year-old sister from Washington during the time of the attack.

"What was his impression when he saw this little boy on the ground bleeding and not even breathing," Nikki said. "We need to get to the root of the problem so we can help now this young man because even if you incarcerate him he has to come out into the real world."

Washington was arrested two days after the killing that happened on Brandon Road on Richmond's Southside.

The case sparked outrage not only around the Commonwealth but across the country. In fact former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor honored Cobb in Congress.

Washington is charged with second-degree murder. He was also charged with malicious wounding and strangulation for the attack on Cobb's sister.

Once test results from the mental evaluation are revealed, the teen could face more charges. His defense attorney John Lafratta said the results could be game changer in the case.

"We completed all the evaluations that are going to be done and things are going to be moving forward," Lafratta said after court Tuesday.

And those like Nikki are hoping this case will open the dialogue on mental illness.

"If we see our children have mental issues immediately we should respond to them and get them help so It won't lead to a generational curse or we can stop it before they take someone else's life," Nikki said.

Washington's lawyer requested the teen be tried by a jury. Attorney's on both sides are still deciding on a trial date.