Psychologist: Accused Wylie Teen "Had Second Thoughts" | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Psychologist: Accused Wylie Teen "Had Second Thoughts"

Judge could rule to certify the teen as an adult



    (Published Thursday, July 24, 2014)

    Closing arguments will begin Friday in a Collin County certification hearing focusing on whether a then-16-year-old boy should be treated as an adult in the murder of his Wylie East High School classmate, Ivan Mejia.

    A psychologist testified Thursday, on day four of a certification hearing, that the teen feels "remorse" but felt he and his co-respondent were "in too deep" in the planning of the alleged crime to scale back.

    Testimony has focused on whether or not the teen is "sophisticated and mature."

    Dr. Robert Lackey, an appointed psychologist who has interviewed the teen several times, says the juvenile "had second thoughts" about the alleged crime.

    Lackey added he believes the teen does feel empathy.

    The teen, now 17, was 16 years old in March on the day he and a friend allegedly lured Mejia to an area near the Wylie East High School campus, strangled him to death in a headlock and drove to Garland to dispose of the body in a location they had planned.

    Family friends and neighbors continued to testify Thursday that the teen was "polite," "respectful" and even "shy."

    All the while, the teen's attorney, Edwin King, continued to press witnesses he called to the stand as to whether the teen was "sophisticated and mature."

    Most stated they did not believe the teen was mature for his age.

    The teen's mother testified she believes her son is "less mature" and "less sophisticated" than other boys his age.

    She told the judge her son is "shy" and often has a hard time opening up, even to her questions.

    When King stated, "This has been a horrible thing for everyone involved, the Mejias especially," the teen's mother hung her head, answering softly, "Yes."

    Her testimony included some disturbing details about the planning of the crime, including that some of the materials used at the scene, such as shovels and duct tape, may have come from the teen's family home.

    The mother also testified that the car recovered by Wylie police, which they believe the teens used to transport Mejia's body in its trunk to the Garland woods, is actually her vehicle.

    She also testified her son had never mentioned Mejia by name. She knew of the victim in passing, only as the ex-boyfriend of a girl her son was interested in dating.

    Police claim the motive for the murder was a love triangle, where Mejia and the accused teen were involved with the same teenage girl.

    Collin County Judge Cynthia Wheless may or may not rule to certify the teen as an adult, based on evidence presented in the four-day hearing.

    If certified as an adult, the teen would immediately be transferred from the Collin County Juvenile Detention to the adult Collin County jail.

    NBC 5 is not identifying the teen or his family members because of his age.