That history, along with Martin’s age and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions prior to trial, was taken into consideration during the plea negotiations, Buxton told the judge.
Earlier this year, Martin’s attorney, Jeff Karp, had argued that though, at 17, Martin was considered an adult by the criminal justice system, he should have been afforded the right to have a parent or guardian present during police questioning, as would have been his right as a juvenile.
Karp cited last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that life sentences for children under 18 are unconstitutional because they fail to take into account the prospect that young people could be successfully rehabilitated.
Had Martin been convicted of first-degree murder, which normally carries a sentence of life without parole, that Supreme Court decision likely would have affected his sentencing.
Following his release, Martin will be on five years of supervised probation, with conditions that include a no-contact order with the Vernazzaro family, a mental health and substance abuse evaluation, and that he earn his high school equivalency diploma.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.