MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A judge has set a re-sentencing date for the boy convicted of killing his Miami middle school friend.
In 2008, Michael Hernandez was convicted of killing his friend Jaime Gough in a bathroom at Southwood Middle School when both were 14 years old. But Hernandez’s initial sentence of life prison was tossed on March 20th, 2013.
A year earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that mandatory life sentences cannot be imposed on juveniles.
So while Hernandez was appealing, the 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled that Hernandez required a new sentencing hearing because a judge imposed a mandatory life prison term in the case.
On Monday, Hernandez appeared before Judge John Schlesinger who set his new sentencing date for August 24, 25 and 26.
“I don’t want to continue this. I don’t want to leave it hanging. I think it’s in fairness to the state and Mr. Hernandez, he needs to get this determined,” Judge Schlesinger said.
Hernandez is reportedly working as a law clerk at his prison. He helps inmates file legal papers for their cases.
The defense attorneys had asked the judge to let Hernandez to return to state prison, but that request was denied.
Prosecutors want to keep him in his current prison because they need to have him evaluated by their own mental health expert.
“If the Florida Supreme Court rules life without parole is not an option, the court can give an alternative sentence, and we can have finality for this family,” Assistant State Attorney Gail Levine said.
Defense attorneys also asked that Hernandez be referred to an eye doctor because his glasses had not been replaced since 2007.
Hernandez’s mother and father were in the courtroom, but the Goughs were not.
“We don’t know right now everything is up in the air,” Hernandez’s father told reporters as he hurried out of the courtroom.
The Gough had no comment Monday, but have previously told CBS4 they forgive Michael Hernandez, but would be willing to testify at his re-sentencing if asked.