The Riverside County District Attorney's Office has made the decision to file a charge of murder against 16-year-old Skylor Atilano in connection with the death of his 11-yearold half-brother, Terry Smith Jr.
The juvenile petition is in the process of being filed in Riverside County Superior Court, juvenile division. The DA's Office is also requesting that the juvenile court conduct a hearing to determine whether Skylor's case should be handled in juvenile court or in adult court.
The first hearing in juvenile court, scheduled for Monday, July 15, 2013, is called a detention hearing, not an arraignment. By law, because of the charge of murder, all court proceedings in this case -unless specified by the judge -- are open to the media and the public.
The victim was first reported missing by his mother the morning of Sunday, July 7, 2013, from the family's residence in the 33-000 block of Helen Lane in Menifee. That led to a four-day search for the missing boy involving numerous law enforcement agencies as well as more than 1,000 civilian volunteers.
The body of Terry Smith Jr. was found in the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 10, 2013, in a shallow grave on the family property