Commmonwealth’s attorney: No plea deal for teen accused of murdering ‘tiny hero’ Marty Cobb

Posted at 2:11 PM, Sep 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-25 18:51:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The teenager accused of murdering eight-year-old Marty Cobb faced a judge Thursday for what was scheduled to be a plea deal, but that didn't happen and the teen could now face upgraded charges.

Mairese Washington, 16, was arrested and charged in Cobb's May 1 beating death.  Washington used a brick to kill Cobb when the eight-year-old boy attempted to defend his 12-year-old sister from Johnson, Cobb's family members said.

Washington was charged with second-degree murder for Marty Cobb's death and malicious wounding and strangulation for the attack on Cobb’s sister.

"I think it's a really, really serious tragic crime," Mike Herring told CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones. "There in fact was not a plea agreement. Sometimes the lawyers in the case, criminal or civil anticipate things happening and they don't transpire."

Herring said his office will present evidence to a Grand Jury in October to upgrade the murder charge to first-degree.

"The foremost concern ins my mind and in the minds of lawyers prosecuting the case is the young girl -- the surviving victim.... The prospect of making her testify doesn't make anybody feel good," said Herring. "But we also intend to pursue it aggressively and ethically."

Herring said the reason for the upgrade to first-degree murder is based on the evidence and the nature of this crime.

"The gravity of the offense always supported an elevated charge. We also firmly believed all along that we had evidence of premeditation," said Herring.

When asked if there's a chance another plea agreement could be reached, Herring replied, "I think the likelihood is closer to zero."

Washington is scheduled for a bench trial on Nov. 17 and 18 in Richmond's Circuit Court at the John Marshall Courthouse.

Washington's attorney appeared in court earlier this month for a mental evaluation status hearing. The results of Washington's mental evaluation have not yet been released.