DANA POINT : Trial of Youth in Shooting Delayed
The trial of 17-year-old Christian Aaron Steffens, accused in last September’s shooting death of Robert James Elliott, 18, on a Dana Point beach, has been postponed for at least a week.
Deputy Public Defender Marri Derby, Steffens’ attorney, said the trial had been scheduled for Monday but was delayed because of conflicts in the public defender’s court schedule. Derby said the case would probably be placed back on the docket in Orange County Juvenile Court in Orange next Monday.
In January, Juvenile Court Judge Robert B. Hutson ruled that Steffens would be tried as a juvenile and not as an adult for the Sept. 8 shooting.
The judge’s decision means that Steffens, if convicted, cannot be incarcerated beyond the age of 25. If tried and convicted as an adult, Steffens could have received up to life imprisonment.
In previous court proceedings, Derby had argued that Steffens fired at Elliott because he was being chased on the beach by Elliott and was in fear of his life.