Judge Won't Free Youth in Student's Death

From a Times Staff Writer

Richard H. Bourassa Jr., the Anaheim youth charged with murdering a classmate four years after he fatally shot another classmate, was ordered Wednesday to remain in Orange County Juvenile Hall pending a hearing next month to determine whether he should be tried as an adult.

Saying that he "made the right decision" on Monday when he first ordered the youth detained, Juvenile Court Judge Michael Brenner denied the request of Bourassa's attorney that the youth be released to his parents.

Bourassa, 17, surrendered Monday after being charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Christian Wiedepuhl, 17, of Anaheim. Wiedepuhl was shot to death May 24 in the Bourassa family home in the same room where Bourassa shot Jeffrey Allen Bush, a 13-year-old classmate, in what was ruled an accidental death.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Kathi Harper contended that the latest shooting was not an accident, adding that she was pleased by the judge's ruling.

"Two young boy have died at his hands," she said. "He's dangerous."

Bourassa's attorney, Edward W. Hall, said he was unhappy with the ruling. He said his client is innocent and added that Bourassa and his parents have cooperated with authorities.

"The authorities have known where and how to locate him for four months and if he was not considered to be a danger in those four months, I fail to see how he can be a danger now, merely because a petition had been filed against him," Hall said.

The hearing is set for Oct. 11.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World