NATHANIEL ABRAHAM, IMPRISONED AT 11, FACES MORE OBSTACLES TO FREEDOM

Nathaniel Abraham in recording studio during his brief period of freedom; behind (l) Dr. John Telford, (r) John Cromer

Mother and child re-union in Black America

By Diane Bukowski

ADRIAN, MI – During the 14 years from the time Nathaniel Abraham was 11 to the present, most of which he has spent in prison, the major media nationally has subjected him to unrelenting attacks. But the love and dedication his mother Gloria Abraham-Edwards has for her child has never wavered.

On Jan. 24, she stood firm, as did her son, during a court hearing on two counts of assaulting prison employees at the Adrian Correctional Facility in November. Each charge carries a sentence of two to four years on top of the four to twenty years he is already serving.

Mr. Abraham refused to waive his preliminary exam. It was scheduled, but not held, since court-appointed attorneys there appear to routinely advise their clients to bypass this crucial legal proceeding. A new date was set for April 13.

Ms. Abraham-Edwards, Mr. Abraham’s grandfather and a young relative drove 80 miles from Pontiac over dangerous snow-covered roads to be present.

Nathaniel Abraham in arms of loved one

“We are here for moral support,” Ms. Abraham-Edwards said. “I believe my son, he said he didn’t do it and he is not going to take a plea. I encouraged him to keep his head up. He is a strong young man and he has the prayers of his family and friends going up for him. He’s going to get through this just like he has everything else. I was so glad to see him on his birthday.”

Mr. Abraham, who turned 25 Jan. 19, was transferred to the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, 120 miles from Pontiac, and placed in segregation after the November incident.

“We had to see him behind a glass wall, and they had him in shackles,” his mother said. “The last time I went to see him, we could sit down together and I could buy him food. I don’t like seeing him in handcuffs. He had to talk to us on a phone, and it was hard for him to hold it up because of the shackles. I don’t like what’s going on, but the Lord is keeping us, and I give all credit to the Lord.”

Nathaniel Abraham tried as an adult at 11; his feet wouldn't reach the floor in courtroom chair

Mr. Abraham drew national attention as the face of America’s war on Black children in 1997. He was charged with first-degree murder at the age of 11 for shooting and killing 21-year-old Ronnie Green in Pontiac, with an old gun that had no stock and could not be aimed, according to experts who testified at his trial. Green died as a result of what appeared to be random gunplay by a child.

But on front pages locally and nationally, a storm arose during which white America appeared united in calling for Mr. Abraham to be tried as an adult and even to face the death penalty. It was only after the Rev. Al Sharpton and others led marches in front of the Oakland County, Michigan courthouse and famed attorney Geoffrey Fieger took the child’s case, that the judge in the case exercised his option of sentencing him as a juvenile.

When Mr. Abraham emerged from detention at the age of 21, the media once again pounced.

He was photographed leaving prison dressed in what white reporters appeared to think was inappropriate garb—a white suit with a pink tie. Readers commented on newspaper websites that he looked like a “thug.”

Reporters then discovered that the state had made arrangements to pay the initial cost of an apartment for the young man, as part of a routine housing program for ex-offenders, and tuition costs at a community college, while he sought employment. The resulting publicity resulted in cancellation of those arrangements.

Recording company logo

But Mr. Abraham forged ahead. While incarcerated, he had become a talented rapper. Supporters from churches and from the America Works! program helped him find employment utilizing those skills. A promising career was ahead.

“He is employed, he is the President and CEO of New Life Records, and has his first contract with a major recording company, Hits Entertainment Group, to bring out a debut album,” John Cromer of America Works! said in 2008. Links to Abraham’s recordings appeared in newspaper articles in the only positive coverage he ever received.

But other reporters, contacted by an anonymous informant, claimed that Mr. Cromer had taken Mr. Abraham to a nightclub to live the high life. Cromer said in fact they had gone there to meet a leading recording executive.

State Trooper Jay Morningstar during arraignment in killing of Eric Williams

A short time later, in May, 2008, an army of 10 state troopers and Pontiac police officers arrested Mr. Abraham at a gas station where his car had broken down. They said they caught him with hundreds of Ecstasy pills and charged him with a 20-year felony, “delivery and manufacture of a controlled substance.” Among the troopers was Jay Morningstar, who had previously been tried and acquitted by a mostly white jury for gunning down a Black homeless man in Detroit.

Mr. Abraham eventually took a plea deal and was sentenced to four to 20 years for an offense that likely would have resulted in probation for a well-to-do suburban youth. He was due for his first parole hearing this coming August.

But in November, Mr. Abraham’s girl friend went to visit him at the Adrian Correctional Facility.

“She had had her visiting privileges suspended for three months until November 19,” Ms. Abraham-Edwards said. “She went all the way to see him on November 21, but they still wouldn’t let her visit, claiming there were some paperwork problems.”

Michigan Department of Corrections spokesperson John Cordell said in published remarks, “He allegedly assaulted staff at the Adrian Correctional Facility.”

Attorney Daniel Bagdade (l) with Nathaniel Abraham and another attorney during court hearing on drug arrest

Mr. Abraham’s former attorney, Daniel Bagdade, who visited him after the incident, told a different story in published remarks which he told this reporter to use.

“Nathaniel steadfastly denies he ever assaulted any prison guards,” Mr. Bagdade said. He said Mr. Abraham said the guards jumped him after isolating him.  Numerous prisoners report that guards frequently create incidents to interfere with their chances for parole.

“I’ve known Nathaniel for years, and the one thing I can say with confidence is that Nathaniel is absolutely not an assaultive person,” Bagdade said. He said Mr. Abraham was injured by the guards and was frightened by the attack.

In court on Jan. 24, however, Mr. Abraham carried himself proudly, holding his head up as he informed the judge that he wanted his preliminary exam held. He steadfastly locked his gaze on the faces of his family members.

“Since our long ordeal, I have a different view of the media now,” his mother said afterwards. “They like to invade people’s privacy. They don’t know Nathaniel and they don’t know me. To damage someone like they have—they need to leave us alone.”


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52 Responses to NATHANIEL ABRAHAM, IMPRISONED AT 11, FACES MORE OBSTACLES TO FREEDOM

  1. bri says:

    honestly, even though i dont know the family ive done enough research to see that mr nathaniel is just a man who cant find his way. he does deserve to be in jail for life. this lady is complaining abnout seeing her son in handcuffs and talking to him on the phone but she should be happy she gets to see her son period. the family of the man that he killed cant see him ever again. he not only gets out with a cocky attitude and somewhat mocking but cant even stay out for two years with out have conjured up another felony ! keep him in prison. he shouldve stayed there since he first went at 11 years old.

    • Diane Bukowski says:

      Mr. Abraham is NOT in jail for life, never has been. My bet is that YOU are a white person who has no comprehension of the racism that is visited on Black people, especially youth, in this system. Don’t speak for the family of the man who was killed. The article explained clearly what happened. And don’t believe the racist stories you read in the major media about his “cocky” attitude because of what he was wearing. God forbid YOU should have a child that gets locked up for life at the age of 11. Read the articles on juvenile lifers in this newspaper (put “juvenile lifer” in the search engine), and you will see young WHITE people who were jailed for life without parole at the ages of 14 and 16. NEVER say that could not be YOUR child–never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for THEE!

      • Dawn says:

        Why do people assume that racism only occurs when the murder victim is of an opposite race. That would only apply if you were claiming Nathaniel’s shooting of Mr. Greene was racially charged. But that is not the case being argued. People are arguing on whether he was treated unfairly because of his race by the system or rather if the 97 law was being unfairly used against him based on his race. Also, if now he is being unfairly on a crime that others would normally receive a lesser sentence on, due to his race.

        I personally can’t say in this case as I don’t know all of the details but I don’t for one second believe that it doesn’y happen in some cases.

      • gina calverley says:

        I am a white woman who completely agrees with you. People need to stop being ignorant to what’s fair and what’s common sense when it comes to a case like this. No common sense was considered or used. Omg he was 11. Only 11.

        • SalmonCakes says:

          Exactly, he was 11. Not 4. He knew what he was doing and he only received a juvenile sentence. Should he have not received any punishment? OK, then when I get mad at someone, I’ll have an 11 year old kill them and then they can go back to riding their bike and nobody will be punished for the murder. Please.

      • bekira says:

        Nate is just sick of being in the system. Where does FORGIVENESS come into play?? Dang. You know the guards are idiots and think they run and own the jails. So where is the compassion for this young, black male. Is he gone pay for Ronnie’s life all of HIS life?

    • lisa says:

      It was a horrific accident. Kids do stuff they’re not supposed to everyday. Some get caught and some don’t. But to try and convict this child for murder in first, is insane. The prosecuting attorneys should be tried for child abuse. Bri, you are an anal retentive white woman with racists views. JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED!!! That goes for all colors.

    • jordan says:

      try a little prison time for urself…or how bout spend a nite in population in jail and then tell me that u wish this upon sum1 else who u never met and have only read wat reporters and other missleading ppl have said…ur wrong in so many ways i hope ur not one of those church goers who always wants to b condeming other ppl

    • Nicole says:

      At the age of 11 he accidentally shot a teen from over 100 yards away. Had this been a child of this age from a different racial background in a different area of Michigan or another state for that matter, charges would have been dropped and it would have been ruled accidental. Because Nathaniel was a young black male the criminal “justice” system approached him with a racist attitude. I seriously dont think he deserved life in prison for this incident. I think you really need to go back and do your research again.

    • bekira says:

      Nate is just sick of being in the system. Where does FORGIVENESS come into play?? Dang. You know the guards are idiots and think they run and own the jails. So where is the compassion for this young, black male. Is he gone pay for Ronnie’s life all of HIS life?

  2. Sherri Hadley says:

    Whoever wrote this article is an idiot. Michigan does NOT have the Death Penalty. How can you say he could have faced something they do not have. Life in prison with no parole is the maximum he could receive in that State.

    • Diane Bukowski says:

      If you know how to read, Ms. Hadley, you would see that the article says that people called for him to face the death penalty. Yes, Michigan does not have the death penalty, but every time a case like this comes up, certain ignorant individuals try to get the death penalty enacted in the state of Michigan, which was the first state in the country to outlaw it, in 1841. Most times, these individuals are racist whites who believe that every Black child or youth is automatically a criminal. They write the most vicious garbage on websites for the major media. Fortunately, one of them was executed yesterday–the Texas man who dragged a Black man in Jasper Texas to his death after tying him behind his truck. Normally I oppose the death penalty period, for not for racist scum like that man, and not for war criminals like the leaders of this country. Be warned, if YOUR comments using terms like “idiot” get any MORE ignorant or racist, they will be REMOVED FROM THIS SITE. I do not tolerate racism against the oppressed Black people of the U.S. This is a private site, and this newspaper is NOT a democracy where people can spew forth whatever they want after failing to comprehend what they read.

      • lisa says:

        Girl, i could not have said it better.

      • misty says:

        His name was James Baird Jr. I live in Jasper Tx. It happened close to my house, what really happened The movie did no justice for what really happened, all of them deserved deathif you really want to see injustice, look Skinner a 14 YEAR OLD THE size of a 10 electrocuted for a crime he did not do 81 days after the murders his parents ram out ofee town and couldn’t even be there for their sun. Agreed Nathaniel should have never been tried but your wrong white boys to get life without Parole, ever heard Of Brandon Hein, Micha hollaway, Jason Hollaway ..just. watch indifference of justice. I am not racist my husband is black My kids are mixed, but white kids get this to, at least he hot. Out, the boys I mentioned 20 years and still never will get paroled and don’t forget about Derrick King and his brother, you are not helping in the war on racism. This Lind of talk like you’ve mentioned makes it worse

  3. Tonya says:

    Diane – if you intend to be a reporter, you need to know how to stay neutral to what others write about the piece. Their opinion is their opinion, and they are allowed to have it. If you enjoy writing and defending your opinion, please start calling yourself a blogger. You are NOT a reporter if this is your mode of operation, which, judging by the fact that the only two comments on this page both have angry retorts from you, it seems to be.

    • Diane Bukowski says:

      There is journalism and then there is advocacy journalism. There is nothing neutral about how the major media reports regarding poor people, and people of color, or about their support by the banks and corporations. I was a PROFESSIONAL PAID INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER for 10 years, my dear. Since this is my newspaper, I feel free to respond to and/or delete racist comments or other comments that show an unsympathetic view towards oppressed people. I receive no pay for publishing this advocacy NEWSPAPER, and I pay all expenses. So you are subject to whatever rules I have regarding comments, and to my reponses if they are negative towards poor and working people, and people of color. Don’t condescend, my dear. What have YOU done lately to better the condition of humankind?

      • misty says:

        Its really hard not to find you a nit racist. And judgemental. I agree with alot of what you say, but alot I find as I said above and a bit UN perfessional. Its sad to see someone wanting racism to stop on one race however. Your being racists to other,

    • Rich says:

      An independent paper has the right to report as they see fit. And there are very few unbiased journalists left in the world. Everyone has their own opinion and are entitled to share it whether you agree with it or not.

      Just as a blogger can say as they wish in their own blog. If in fact she does own this paper then she has the right to run it as she pleases.

  4. Teresa Gilchrist says:

    First and foremost you most understand that Nathaniel Abraham is a victim. His intention were not to kill Mr. Green I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be held accountable for his action but at the age of 11 can we really hold him accountable for his actions? The same year Nathaniel was charge as an adult two white male over the age of 12 killed their teacher (intentionally) they were sentence as youth not adults. Where were the lynch mob at for these two white males? Nathaniel had the opportunity to go to college and become a productive member of Society, He was knocked down and every opportunity that was given to him to be a contributing member of society was taken from him. I’m not saying that begin caught with Ecstacy (?) in his vechile by the way that was broke down at the pump! ( which I still don’t get how the police decide to check the vechile for drugs) can be justified. I’m just saying maybe the young man has been set up for failure.

    • Teresa Gilchrist says:

      O! yeah the Family of Mr.Green has forgiven Nathaniel and understood he was just a child. I wish Society would forgive this young man.

  5. Jason Roberts says:

    How can anyone say Nathaniel is a victim? This man is obviously a criminal who should be in prison. Killing a man at 11 years old may have been a horrible and tragic accident, but to throw away his second chance at life among honest hard working people by getting caught with a schedule one narcotic, a felony in every state is just ignorant and offensive in itself. You advocate for this man being a good person, well I want to know when will he start to show it? Criminals who want to turn their lives around earn some type of degree or learn a trade while incarcerated NOT learn how to rap. How is that a redeemable skill? Have you seen or heard rap artists music? Not what I would consider a role model. The white man doesn’t keep the black man down. They oppresse themselves by following every stereotype set forth by rappers and other such figures. It’s unbelievable anyone would march and protest for a murderer of any color. Sadly you have people like the reverend al sharpton who spreads his black oppression nonsense and intern just helps to continue the cycle. When people stop feeling that it’s everyone elses fault that your in a bad life situation and start to look onto ones self introspectively then can some changes truly start to happen. Mrs. Bukowski you are the only ignorant person on this page.

    • Michael oglesby says:

      i just need to know from anybody that has posted on this page, when at anytime in the history of the united states of america has anyone white been tried as an adult at such a young age? i am a father of 4 boys, and I know for a fact tha tat the age pof 11 there is no way that the young man should have been eve n though of being tried as an adult. i know he was not but the though is absurd in itself!
      Now I know plenty of young men who have been incarcerated for long periods of time, and believe you me they do not have to many options. The job market is tough on people who have not been in prison, let alone a Black male. Im no excusing nothing the young man has done, but when was he given a real chance? i dont beleive he ever was, and I dont think he will ever get one! Our country is still racist and will remain that way!

    • Reality Dealer says:

      Jason, you are the ignorant and arrogant one. You fail to realize that this kid, unlike you and your silver spoon, had 11 years of hardship. Not only on his own, but with his family as a whole, I do not agree with his actions after he got out at all, it actually doesn’t shock me, but this would go for anyone who has been locked in a hole after 11 years of living a hard life. I would like you to go to where he is from, buy or rent a house, and live there for 11 years, let me see what you do? I guarantee you wouldn’t make it a week, you don’t understand what it is like to live in poverty and not being able to do ANYTHING about it. His mom had to take care of the kids because the dad left, she only made a set amount of money and the 11 year old can’t work, so please once again, tell me, what would you do? You are a racist and I can tell by your word use, but no, I step up to scum like you trying to put down someone that you don’t know, nor do you know what goes through his mind. When he got out of prison he probably couldn’t get a job, which in turn, caused him to have to do what he had to do. It wasn’t smart, I do not agree, but I understand and do now lower a man do to his disabilities. You need to get a life, and to be honest, if he shot you then it would have been a good thing to get your racists scum being off of this earth.

      • Melissa g says:

        Why does living in poverty cause one to “play with guns”. I am confused. If he stole food from the grocery store, I think you could argue that point. You make no sense. Say that you are correct… There are many many many poor kids who have lived even more years in poverty who don’t “play with guns”. Hold people accountable and maybe the next 11 year old will think twice about “playing with guns”!

    • misty says:

      Agreed with every word you said right down to Al, he creates hate. However. I do not think he should have been. Tried at eleven, but he did hat his second chance, unlike alot becoming. A rapper. Hum what do they rap about again? People really need to do their. Research before saying this only happens. To black’s. Completely innocent innocent. Doing life. So this so reportedr is just other Al.

  6. David Dewey says:

    All of you have your own opinions about this case. Stop getting upset at each other when you each individually know that we all have an opinion and should be treated as a thought and not taken into rage.

  7. GiGi says:

    Okay, some of you have extremely strong feelings about Nathaniel Abraham and what he did or has recently done…… What about the case of Jordon Brown and his shooting of his father’s 8 1/2 month pregnant, sleeping fiance? Is he not in essence more methodical and a bigger future threat? It was PROVEN that the shooting in the Abraham case was accidental, he didn’t with malice of forethought seek out his victim to kill him. Jordon Brown on the other hand went into the bedroom of a sleeping woman and blew her brains all over the bed, killing she and the unborn child. Now tell me………….which crime is more heinous, which crime was most serious, which crime deserved a life sentence??
    Nathaniel was in custody till he was 21 basically, Jordon is sentenced to remain in the custody of the juvenile system till he’s 21…….what’s different????

  8. YaYa says:

    I am going to disregard all the negative comments regarding this matter. But, I have to admit it was shocking to read what someone said regarding NA being “a man who obviously is a criminal that should be imprisoned.” HE was not a man when the crime was committed, and his time was served. To be imprisoned since age 11 to 21 means he grew up in the system. He went in a baby and now we have a grown man. Can we say that a correctional facility is an institution that you would rely on to mold and guide our children? Children are supposed to be our future-our tomorrows. Some children don’t stand a chance at life from the time they are brought into the world. Keep in mind they don’t ask to be here. As unfortunate as this situation is, it saddens me because he was still a child. Children in my eyes have no color. So I would say the same thing if he were white, purple or green-due to the circumstances. The offense was ruled as an accident. An accident could be a form of negligence. Because it was NOT intentional, I believe in my heart of hearts that the system has failed him. Jail or Prison is not a place an 11 year old needs to be. Now if he had a malicious motive or intent to kill, I may feel a little different. But, for now, I think some things need to change as far as the way juveniles are transitioned into adult sentencing. Research shows juveniles to be placed on death row. That is scary to me because I have children. Luckily, we live in Michigan and not in the practicing states. I say that because I can name at least 10 things off the top of my head that kids do that are really stupid. They don’t think at times. And they definitely don’t think as adults or always make good decisions as we would like. We can agree to disagree on a lot of what was already said and even with what I have written. Happy 4th of July to All-either way. (smile, it doesn’t hurt at all).

  9. YaYa says:

    “The last juvenile offender executed in Virginia was Fritz Lewis in 1924, said Larry Traylor, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections. Lewis died in the electric chair for a murder in Caroline County.” Here is another one. I found this on the Dwayne Allen Wright cite of Virginia. I have not investigated it yet, but it’s a start, if you are still interested.

  10. JT says:

    I also just watched the program on TV and so googled this young man to see where he ended up. I can’t fathom an 11 yr old having the knowledge or emotion to really understand the consequences for his actions. We blame the youth and we pity the man who was killed. STEP UP YOUR GAME Americans. I don’t care if you’re black or white, take responsibility for your family, your neighborhood, your city and any others you feel called to help. This is a societal problem and a spiritual one at that. I pray for those out there who can’t seem to understand…. Everyone wants to point their fingers at everyone else bit God forbid anyone get their hands dirty and be a part of the SOLUTION. I pray this young man gets closer to Jesus in prison and one day proves wrong all those trying to oppress him and use him as their personal scapegoat to cast out their disdain for the overall juvenile delinquency problem in this country.

  11. dlred says:

    I just watched this show and also googled after watching. No I would not want to live near him. He has deep issues and his future was predictable. He had many encounters with crime before the shooting; however I don’t believe he meant to kill anyone. He did need to be confined in the juvenile facilities because he didn’t have supervision. He bragged without knowing consequences. The police took advantage of their ignorance and they were going to use that law to ease their burden of the black youth with no proper guidance. Yes that child is very very troubled. White media was going to follow him because he received a fair sentence and not what they wanted. They didn’t give a dam about the young man killed. To them that’s a two for one.

  12. Sofia Esquada says:

    I still say this is a classic case when the sysystem fails our children. He was put in juvee then what? There were outcries for giving him an apartment/school money? Fail! Or how does twitter put it #EpicFail.

  13. James Smith says:

    Ms. Bukowski,
    I would like to first thank you for this article. I watched the episode on TV called Notorious about the shooting of Mr. Greene. I do not know whether Nathaniel commited this crime or not as I was not in Michigan, or on the jury that tried his case. But I do know one thing. I am a black man living in a state of minorities. I hear all the time about racism and how the black man or the mexican man is always used as a scape goat for the white people. Well I do know for a fact that the racism card is pulled in the opposite direction.

    I did sit on a jury here in my state and listened to testimony on how a black man brutally raped and murdered a 14 year old child. He was arrested by a white sherrif, his attorney was white, judge was white, and other than myself his jury was white. And when they sentenced him to life in prison with out the possibility of parole, guess what the press and 90% of the courtroom screamed…”It was racism”.

    I was on that jury. I saw the evidence. We the jury found unanimously, him guilty of rape in the first degree and murder in the second degree for the death of that young teenager.

    My point is that if you did commit a crime, and in the eyes of your peers (jury), you are guilty, it doesn’t matter if you are white, black, brown, yellow… The justice system is what it is. It’s not always fair. Not always honest, but right now it is the only thing that is preventing pure and utter chaos.

  14. Tammy says:

    Really sad. At 11 years old, many of us did stupid things. Maybe not with such results of taking one’s life. This kid did not aim specifically at this man and pull the trigger. At 11 years old whether he was getting in trouble or not prior to the incident, this was a time for him to start developing as a man. To be corrected as many of us were when we made mistakes as a child. He didn’t have a chance after his sentence. And yes it sounds good for anyone to judge him getting in trouble after getting out, but as the saying goes, if your told your bad, maybe it works on mental and thats what you believe you are bad. This kid got out of jail at 22 with a 10year record of incarceration. Michigan State decided his fate, a child! Shame on them.

  15. vlizzle says:

    per my husband, there are NO talented rappers and I agree

  16. vlizzle says:

    I’m watching this on TV right now, and black, white, pink or yellow, he is a killer and knew damn well what he did. I read more and more about the case and he is a loser and deserves to be in jail. A promising rapper my ass.

  17. prince says:

    oh for christ’s sake im sick and tired of hearing about racism, ive known plenty of black people who are racist against white people. I am a white man and i have black friends and even they are sick and tired of hearing other black people use it as some sort of excuse. Stop using excuses and start taking accountability for your actions. instead of blaming white people for everything how about you make strides in the black community to stop the behavior’s that cause other people to hold negative feelings towards the black community.

  18. TUBYornot2BE says:

    I think this law was ‘ignorant’ no matter what race this 11 year old CHILD was. Tryed as an adult, since when does an 11 year old know what ‘constitutional right are and completely understands them?’ Sick lawmakers

  19. flyshooter says:

    Ronnie Green can’t give you his opinion because Nathaniel killed him?

  20. SAL says:

    why do people call it an accident……….accident is me falling off a ladder, dropping a glass………accident is bull%$#$…… I heard someone say ”’society failed him””’
    more bull%$#…..his mother failed, his father, grandparents and other relatives failed him..

  21. Darren says:

    Just another thug! Not listening to media or reading the hype…just looking at his actions! Before and AFTER prison!

  22. Melissa g says:

    Wow Diane…are you the comment police or what? I think it’s a toss up here of what he should have been charged with. I came back to google him because how he spent his days after sentencing, to me, would tell a big story! It sounds like he has behave fairly well. I think had he been violent enough to want to kill someone, he would have been in a lot of trouble in the juvenile facility.

    I am guessing you are black who views everything done as racism. Bet you also voted for Obama just because he has black skin! Enough is enough with that!!

  23. Mary says:

    I just saw this trial on tv and I really think this is horrible. I do believe he should be punished for the crime he committed, 11 year olds know it’s not right to be shooting guns even if he didn’t mean to hurt anyone. His girlfriend saying he told her he was going to kill someone does kinda make me think he was in desperate need of counseling. I think the sentencing was too harsh, I think he shouldn’t have had to lost his whole life over this. I feel sympathy and sadness for the family of the victim and I cannot imagine how horrible it is what they went through and are going through.

    I really think this needed to be handled a bit differently. I really think his behavior in jail while awaiting trial might have been an indication on what he should have gotten. I didn’t see much on his “drug conviction” and if he really did do this then yes, he should get another sentence but I think a question which needs to be asked here is this – what kind of a person have we created? What kind of person can he be in society after spending most of his formative years behind bars?

    I really don’t think there are any easy answers here and my heart goes out to all involved. I wish I was wiser and had all the answers.

  24. Jess says:

    Maybe everyone should get the facts correct. This young man was 11 years old, he had an obsession with guns, he broke into houses and stole guns, was charged (but not convicted) 22 times for crimes, told his girlfriend that he was going to shoot someone, tried to shoot his neighbor with a stolen gun but missed, shot and killed Mr. Green with the same stolen gun, went to his friends house and told his friend he killed someone and had no emotions about it. This young man is an 11 year old and an 11 year old murderer. That’s the facts. Who cares if he’s black or white. He’s a cold blooded murderer!!!!!!!

  25. Brian Ashley says:

    I’ve followed this case extensively as a former reporter and have remained completely non-biased and in-opinionated until now. The race card in this case has Lon played out and for him, his mother, or anyone to continue to use the race card is absolutely ridiculous. This guy is a menace and should be in prison. He was instructed by the judge when he was only 11 that those events could not be changed but that he had a choice to either make himself a better man or be consume by his actions and never rise above it. He’s chosen to kill; he chose to sell and distribute drugs; and now he has attacked prison guards. He’s a thug and should be locked away. Period…

  26. Becky says:

    I was just watching Nathaniel’s case on T.V. Let me start out by saying how much my heart broke as I was listening to this 11 year old little boy get question. As I watched this T.V. special my heart went out to both this boy and the 18 year old that was killed. My thought is no child is bad. They just need help. They are asking for help. As the hour went on my heart broke more and more for this child. I was outrage for this boy, them wanting to charge him as an adult. The judge could not of made a better ruling. It gave Nathaniel the chance to recieve the help he was clearly asking for. When they said that in 2008 he would be released I was so excited to do the internet search to see the good news about him being released and starting he new journey. Then I came across this article. My heart broke all over again. What people are not understanding is this crime is he was caught with drugs with the intent to sell. It has nothing to do with him being black, he commited yet another crime. Everyone is arguing if he should of been tried as an adult or what his sentence should be. What is not being seen is that he broke the law. Should he not of been rearrested? Is it not a good thing that a potential drug dealer that could sell to your kids is off the streets? I am sorry, but my heart can not break for this young man anymore. He is no longer a child He is an adult now. The defense that he did not know what he was doing is gone now. My heart still is broke for that little boy who had to grow up to fast and who will have to deal with this accident for the rest of his life, but I can not look past this young man who could of possibly of hurt another person again. If that makes me racist I am sorry. I would say the same if it was a white boy or a asian or a latino. A bullet, drugs, crime and violence knows no color.

  27. TexasRose says:

    How young is too young? 11? 10? 7? 5? It’d be different if white kids were prosecuted the same way black kids (and poor kids) are, but they aren’t. This is an ongoing part of the cycle of racism. The white establishment makes decisions that “blacks” are bad, ignorant, trouble makers, criminals and has now created a system to deal with them. Yank them out of ELEMENTARY school, and get them started in the prison system and keep them there forever. Keeping uneducated whites employed (in the prison system) and keeping those darn pesky blacks away from the whites. Dream on. This was a child. Ridiculous.

  28. holly says:

    I am appalled. It is absolutely asinine for an 11 year old boy to understand accountability of an action such as his. He found and played with a gun. He may not have been the best behaved child, but he was a child. Everyone is making this into a race issue. And it shouldn’t be. It should be about a poor single mom, not a poor single black mom, trying to get help for her young child, not her black child. It should be about an accident that happened, a mistake that was made by a young biy, not a young black boy. And how we as a people failed our youth. I am not saying race didn’t take part in this babies life and the outcome of this trial. However I am saying that his race should be irrelevant. This story should be about a young man that made a mistake, and how we as a community, as a people reached out to help this boy understand his mistake, help him make any amends he could, and help him deal with this mistake and the knowledge of what his actions caused. That is the society I want to be,the community I want to be a part of. Not a black or white community just a community….
    e

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